Scotland’s railway prepares for Storm Barbara

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Due to the severe weather conditions forecast during Storm Barbara speed restrictions and a small number of service withdrawals will take place in Scotland as a safety precaution on Friday (December 23).

As some trains will be travelling at slower rates, their journey times will be extended and service levels on some lines in the south, west and north will have to be reduced as a result. Services will be suspended on the Oban and Kyle lines from Friday mid-morning.

Passengers are advised to check their journey via the ScotRail website or app.

Restrictions will be put in place on the routes most likely to bear the brunt of the winds and high tides forecast to hit the north and west of Scotland over the next 24-48 hours.

The safety precautions are being introduced as fallen trees and other debris can potentially derail a train or damage the windows and coachwork – posing a risk to those travelling within.

Many lines, including those in greater Glasgow and between Glasgow and Edinburgh, are scheduled to operate normally tomorrow, but the conditions may cause damage elsewhere and passengers should allow extra travel time, or consider postponing non-essential trips.

Phil Verster, ScotRail Alliance Managing Director, said: “We will have hundreds of staff out tomorrow working to keep the railway running, but the safety of our passengers is our top priority and we are introducing these precautions to help manage the impact of Storm Barbara on our network and customers.

“Passengers should check our website or app to get the most up to date information about their journey before setting out to travel and we would advise customers to leave more time for their journey. Tickets for travel on suspended routes can also be used today (Thursday) or in the days following the storm.”

The ScotRail Alliance will have hundreds of engineers out across the country ready to react quickly to any problems identified on the lines – removing trees and fixing damaged equipment such as overhead electric power lines and signals.

Customers who have purchased a ticket for December 23, can travel on relevant ScotRail services from today (December 22) up to and including December 28.