Posted 9th January 2015 | No Comments

Savage weather halts Scottish trains

WINDS at hurricane speeds brought the Scottish rail network to a standstill for a while as a storm swept across the country, felling trees and leaving thousands of people without power.

The Aberdeen portion of the Caledonian Sleeper collided with a tree at Cupar, but no injuries were reported and the train was able to continue after some delay.

By 14.00 on Friday services had been restored on many routes in the central belt, but all other ScotRail services remained suspended, with the bad weather expected to continue for some hours. National Rail warned that problems were likely to continue into Saturday.

After earlier disruption, CrossCountry, East Coast, First TransPennine Express and Virgin services to Scotland are now mostly running again.

However Ayrshire lines still have no service, after overhead lines were damaged. Network Rail engineers are out in force across Scotland as they make repairs and continue to check for damage along the railway.

ScotRail said tickets dated today will be accepted at any time during the coming week, or would be refunded in full.

Scottish transport minister Derek Mackay told the BBC that safety has to be 'paramount' but he said everything was being done to "get people moving".

He added: "Many travellers who have had sleepless nights will know the winds have been severe and yes, it has caused significant impact to the transport system, but we're working very hard to recover from that."