ScotRail services getting back on track after Storm Babet

Last updated: Monday, 23 October 2023

The vast majority of ScotRail services are getting back to normal much more quickly than expected following the severe disruption caused by Storm Babet.

Today (Saturday, 21 October), the train operator is able to run trains on the following routes that were previously closed.

  • Glasgow / Edinburgh – Inverness via Perth.
  • Glasgow – Perth.
  • Perth – Dundee. A very limited service will run from early evening.
  • Inverness – Elgin.
  • Inverkeithing – Dundee via Kirkcaldy. Services are running hourly from 15.40 today.
  • Inverkeithing – Perth via Dunfermline. (There is planned engineering works between Inverkeithing and Edinburgh where a bus replacement will operate.)
  • Glasgow – Oban / Fort William / Mallaig.

Exceptionally wet and windy conditions have seriously affected much of the country since Thursday, causing the Met Office to issue numerous weather warnings, including two rare red alerts.

Angus and Aberdeenshire are currently covered by a red warning for heavy rain which is due to end at 18.00 tonight.

While ScotRail services will still not run in those red areas, Network Rail engineers have been working around the clock in other parts of Scotland, and many trains not expected to run until at least tomorrow (Sunday, 22 October) are now back on track.

Network Rail’s helicopter air response team has also been flying over routes in the northeast and Highlands to assist in making decisions about the safety of the track infrastructure.

ScotRail’s Control team is also working extremely hard to schedule as many services as possible.

The safety of customers and staff is always Scotland’s Railway’s highest priority, and it will not reopen routes until it is judged safe to do so.

Routes still closed are between:

  • Aberdeen – Elgin.
  • Aberdeen – Dundee.

Far North & Kyle of Lochalsh lines remain closed due to planned engineering works.

Other routes across the network are still being impacted by precautionary speed restrictions, meaning services may be subject to delay or cancellation.

ScotRail expects a normal timetable to be in place across the network from tomorrow except there will be no trains from Aberdeen – Dundee and Aberdeen – Elgin.

Customers are advised they should only travel if necessary on the routes affected by the weather warnings, to expect delays, and to regularly check their journey before travelling, on the ScotRail website, mobile app, or social media channels.

Customers whose journey has been cancelled or disrupted due to adverse weather can travel one day before or up to three days after the date on their ticket. Customers can also apply for a fee-free refund on any unused tickets.

David Simpson, ScotRail Service Delivery Director, said:

“Thanks to the efforts of Scotland’s Railway’s engineers, the vast majority of services are back up and running across the country.

“The impact of Storm Babet has been extremely challenging.

“We know the impact the withdrawal of some train services has, but our first priority is always to ensure the safety of our staff and customers.

“We want to thank customers for their continuing patience and understanding as we make all possible efforts to inspect routes that are still closed for damage, before reopening them when it is judged safe to do so.

“Please continue to keep an eye on our website, mobile app, or social media channels for live updates before travelling.”