UK

Rail services suspended as weather warning for rain extended

ScotRail has axed direct services between the central belt and Aberdeen and Inverness (PA)
ScotRail has axed direct services between the central belt and Aberdeen and Inverness (PA) ScotRail has axed direct services between the central belt and Aberdeen and Inverness (PA)

Some rail services have been suspended due to a yellow weather warning in place for heavy rain in the Highlands and north east of Scotland.

ScotRail has advised there will be no direct services running between the central belt and Aberdeen and Inverness from Friday morning until Sunday.

Flooding is expected to affect some parts of the country in the coming days after forecasters extended the weather warning by 24 hours until noon on Sunday.

The latest Scottish Flood Forecast said “significant flooding impacts” are likely in the north east on Friday and Saturday due to torrential downpours.

The Met Office yellow weather warning covers Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Dundee, and Perth and Kinross – most of which saw prolonged downpours cause problems for residents last week, including flooding.

ScotRail services from Glasgow and Edinburgh to Aberdeen and Inverness have been suspended, though they will run to Dundee from Glasgow, and to Perth from Edinburgh.

A shuttle train service will operate between Inverness and Perth and Aberdeen and Dundee, but it will be subject to delay due to speed restrictions imposed as a precaution.

This is because heavy rain is forecast in areas which already have high water levels and saturated ground after Storm Babet.

Journeys are expected to take longer than usual and customers are advised to check before travelling.

David Simpson, ScotRail service delivery director, said: “The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for heavy rain across the Highlands and north east of Scotland until Sunday.

“Our first priority is always to ensure the safety of our staff and customers.

“As a precautionary measure, speed restrictions will be in place across the Highlands and north east, which will result in extended journey times and the removal of some direct services.

“We ask customers to keep an eye on our website, app, or social media feeds for live updates.”

Autumn weather October 23rd 2023
Autumn weather October 23rd 2023 Storm Babet caused widespread flooding across the north east of Scotland last week (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The latest flood forecast issued by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency said significant flooding impacts from rivers and surface water are likely in the north east on Friday and Saturday.

There is also a risk of further impacts in areas recovering from recent flooding.

It said: “River levels are not expected to be as high as experienced during Storm Babet but as the rain will be falling on to already wet ground, flooding from surface water run-off may also cause impacts.

“Caithness and Sutherland, Easter Ross and Great Glen and the south west of Scotland may also experience some localised flooding due to persistent and heavy rain.”

Network Rail Scotland warned: “More extremely heavy rain is on the way. It won’t be to the levels from Storm Babet, but it will affect the same areas already with saturated ground. It will bring a risk of flooding.”