Train trapped in snow for six hours

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Eighteen people who were trapped overnight inside a snowbound train carriage in the Scottish Highlands yesterday described their ordeal as heavy snow caused fresh problems in the region.

Eighteen people who were trapped overnight inside a snowbound train carriage in the Scottish Highlands yesterday described their ordeal as heavy snow caused fresh problems in the region.

Police rescued the passengers on the Scotrail service from Inverness to Wick, near John O'Groats, at 1.30am yesterday, six hours after it had run into a 10-foot wall of drifting snow. The train, which left Inverness on Tuesday afternoon, was travelling behind a snowplough when it got stuck and was unable to move forwards or back, trapping the 15 passengers and three crew.

Barbara Miller, 54, from Thurso, said the journey was difficult from the start. She said: "But you have to expect that when you live where we do. The lights and power in the carriage remained on throughout, and everyone was taking it in turns to walk up and down ... to get closer to the heaters.

"My son, who had just had surgery on his foot, was a bit uncomfortable but he survived all right. Everyone was thankful to get to the hotel this morning."

That train was one of two stuck on the same line yesterday - another ground to a halt between Thurso and Wick.

Scotrail was trying to free the trains yesterday as extreme weather was in evidence up and down the country. Scotland continued to be the worst hit, as an avalanche hit a ski run known as Flypaper at the White Corries Ski Centre at Glencoe. The run was closed to the public at the time and police said there was nothing to suggest anyone was caught in the incident.

A landslide closed the main line between Glasgow and the Highlands, after melting snow loosened the earth near Sterling in central Scotland. Railtrack was unable to say when the track would re-open.

Scotland had struggled through a three-day long storm that cut power supplies to 16,000 people. Scottish & Southern Energy, the main electricity supplier to the Highlands region, said their engineers had managed to restore power to all but a handful of very isolated communities.

Elsewhere, the River Cam in Cambridgeshire burst its banks, leaving a station car park at Waterbeach beneath two feet of water, with 30 cars sodden and their owners stranded. The Anchor Pub in Cambridge was flooded and the roads in nearby Granchester were closed after becoming submerged.

Comments