UK weather: Rail services suspended in Scotland as storm leaves 70,000 without power

Damage caused by hurricane-force winds of more than 110mph

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The Independent Online

A storm has severely disrupted ScotRail journeys in Scotland and around 70,000 people have been left without power after strong winds battered the country last night.

There are 27 ScotRail routes still cancelled or severely disrupted this morning with most of the delayed journeys going to and from Glasgow. Other services by rail companies East Coast, Virgin and TransPennine Express appear to be running however it is advised to check for delays and cancellations before travelling.

Some ScotRail services are returning, including Edinburgh - Falkirk High - Glasgow Queen Street trains every half an hour, the company stated on their website.

Earlier today, all ScotRail train routes were suspended until further notice “for safety reasons” amid fears that trees could be uprooted and travel and power lines could be affected by high winds that are expected to worsen this morning, particularly around rush-hour.

Network Rail has been inspecting lines for damage caused by the hurricane-force winds which brought gusts of more than 110mph. The ferocious gales have been stirred up by an extra-powerful jet stream triggered by plunging temperatures in the United States hitting warmer air in the south.

A spokesman for ScotRail had said: “For safety reasons it will be necessary for Network Rail to inspect rail lines across the network for damage this morning before allowing passengers to travel on routes.”

Schools have been closed and travel restrictions are in place after the storm. The suspended Forth Road Bridge between Queensferry and North Queensferry was closed after a van blew over just before 1am, however it is now open to cars only. Many other roads are closed due to fallen trees.

Stornoway Coastguard said they were called out with the council to help an 80-year-old woman whose window had blown in.

Several CalMac and NorthLink ferry services have been affected by disruption or cancellations.

Amber warnings have been issued by the Met Office for the north and central belt of Scotland, including Glasgow and Edinburgh, as an Atlantic jet stream reaches land.

Gusts between 60mph and 70mph are expected in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, where the Met Office has put in place yellow “be prepared” warnings.