RAIL travellers have been faced with yet more delays, as train services continued to be severely disrupted by torrential rain.
Thousands of travellers were stuck at Glasgow Central station eaerlier today, as engineers struggled to reopen the east coast link after a landslip at Spittal, just south of Berwick-upon-Tweed, on Thursday afternoon.
• West Highland line closed after freight train derailment
• Passengers evacuated after fire on Birmingham to Glasgow train
• Bad weather in the north of England causes disruption
The queue for the Virgin service to London snaked across the platform, out of the main entrance and around the corner to Hope Street, where it ran for 100 metres.
Many passengers were soaked as they waited in line outside the station, and many complained there was little information being given out – other than that all reservations had been cancelled and it was a case of “first come, first served”.
Kate Latimer, from Sheffield, who had been attending a conference in Edinburgh, said: “We were due to head south last night, but we were turned back at Berwick and had to find accommodation in Edinburgh at short notice, so it was really expensive.
“We went back to Waverley this morning and were told to come over to Glasgow, and we’ve been greeted by this huge queue.
“The only information we’ve had was when we were on the train coming back from Berwick, since then we’ve been told nothing.
“I’ve been struggling to sort out childcare cover because of this, and we’re still facing a four-hour train journey. It’s been a nightmare.”
Adele Neilson, Glasgow, who had intended travelling to London to meet friends, said: “I’d checked this morning, and it did say there were delays, but I’m surprised at the size of the queues.
“I would have thought that they’d put on extra carriages or additional services but they don’t seem to have thought of that.”
The travellers’ misery was compounded mid-afternoon when the west coast line, which had been closed by flooding and landslips on Thursday, was shut once again to southbound trains when winds blew down overhead cables at Beattock.
A spokesman for Virgin said that engineers were working to restore the service and put in place a temporary bus service between Carlisle and Glasgow.
The closure was the latest in a series of travel nightmares over a 24-hour period. Some passengers endured a 15-hour journey between London and Glasgow when their train was stranded by a landslide in the Lake District on Thursday night.
Scotsman columnist and social commentator Gerry Hassan, who was on board the service, wrote on Twitter: “15.5 hrs from London to Glasgow, flooding, landslides & fire.”
Hundreds of people also endured an 11-hour journey from Birmingham to Glasgow because of a fire in the engine of the train which forced an evacuation.
The 5:20pm Birmingham to Glasgow service, operated by Virgin, had to stop near Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway, at about 10:20pm.
The fire was at the front of the train and the passengers, around 500 of them, were moved to the back carriages and were evacuated.
The Double Voyager, which comprises two trains, was then split in two and the passengers, including those who had been on board the London to Glasgow service, continued their journey in the back train.
Virgin said it was a minor engine fire and no one was injured.
Two landslides and a freight train derailment also disrupted services in the Highlands.
The 24-wagon train came off the tracks near Tulloch just after 7pm on Thursday because of a landslide, blocking the West Highland line between Crianlarich and Mallaig.
ScotRail cancelled its Caledonian sleeper train from Fort William to London Euston, and trains between Crianlarich and Mallaig were also suspended.
There was also a landslide between Garelochhead and Crianlarich.
Network Rail warned passengers to expect further delay and disruption.
A spokesman for ScotRail said: “Customers are advised to get up-to-date journey information before travelling.”
East Coast rail said it was expecting a broadly normal service to be resumed today, although some off-peak trains will continue to run on reduced timetable. The Environment Agency said the period of April to June has been the wettest on record.
However, despite the deluge of the past two days, Scotland has had an average June overall.
Have you been affected by the disruption? Send your photos and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North