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STORM JOCELYN: Complete shut down of Scotland's rail services as 70 mph winds batter Highlands

By Alasdair Fraser

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Fallen trees on the far north railway line.
Fallen trees on the far north railway line.

With parts of the Highlands braced for winds of up to 70 mph, ScotRail has halted all of its train services this evening.

Amber and yellow weather warnings are in place across the north as Storm Jocelyn blasts across Scotland and the UK, bringing fresh disruption before damage wrought by Storm Isha has been fully cleared.

The ScotRail blanket cancellation began at 7pm this evening and will continue throughout Wednesday morning.

The high winds and damaging gusts are expected to lead to falling trees and debris on the tracks across the country.

Safety checks from first light will be necessary before services resume tomorrow, ScotRail said.

An amber warning for wind came into force at 18:00 on Tuesday and will last until 08:00 on Wednesday, covering the west coast of Scotland up along the north Highland coast to Orkney and parts of the north and north-east.

There is also a yellow wind warning across Inverness and Ross-shire currently in place until noon on Wednesday.

Trains that departed before 19:00 tonight will complete their journeys, the rail operator said.

Many services were already cancelled before the 19:00 deadline came into effect.

Phil Campbell, ScotRail's customer operations director, insisted the operator had no choice but to put safety of passengers, staff and drivers first by closing the network.

He said: “Although the winds will be slightly less potent with Storm Jocelyn, our weather experts tell us it will be sufficient enough to bring down trees and more debris on the line.

"Closing the network from 19:00 tonight through the rush hour tomorrow is simply to make sure our customers and staff are made safe and also to give some certainty about what's running and what's not running.”

Customers are urged to check online for the most up-to-date information.

Storm Jocelyn is set to hit this evening
Storm Jocelyn is set to hit this evening

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has 21 flood warnings and 14 alerts in place.

It comes after thousands of people were left without power earlier this week.

SSEN said supplies had been restored to about 37,000 customers by Tuesday afternoon, with just 370 properties still without power.

Jocelyn is the 10th named storm to hit the UK since September.

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