Rail chaos fears come to pass as forecast for 'extreme weather' sparks dozens of cancellations on Highland routes and suspension of services between Inverness and Wick
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DOZENS of cancellations were causing major disruption for Highland rail passengers on Monday morning – amid two active weather warnings and fears of localised flooding.
Network Rail Scotland and ScotRail had both warned passengers of likely disruption ahead of today, brought on by concerns over “extreme weather”.
The Met Office has warned of up to 80mm of rainfall over higher ground in western parts of the Highlands in the space of just 24 hours. It is feared that this high volume of rain, coupled with a thaw among lying snow, could cause flooding problems.
A separate warning for snow for the far north as well as eastern Highland coasts – and also extending as far south as Badenoch and Strathspey – is also in force until 8pm on Monday. Up to 10cm could fall above 300 metres, although some snowfall is also predicted to lower levels.
And this weather has prompted a wave of cancellations and speed restrictions.
Eight services on the Far North Line between Inverness and Wick have been axed on Monday – marking a day-long suspension of services running between the city and Caithness town – and two journeys have also been cancelled between the Highland capital and Kyle of Lochalsh.
The disruption is not just restricted to northern lines. Fifteen separate journeys between the Highland capital and Edinburgh/Glasgow will be terminating or starting at Perth instead of at Inverness.
There will also be delays of up to 55 minutes on journeys on the Inverness-Aberdeen line due to temporary speed restrictions – although no cancellations had yet been reported at the time of writing.
Elsewhere in the Highlands, no trains are running on the West Highland Line between Crianlarich and Fort William – although services are running either side of that.
For the latest travel information visit www.scotrail.co.uk.