RAIL services to the north east of Scotland were severely disrupted today following two separate lightning strikes on vital signalling equipment.
• Lightning strikes hit equipment at Laurencekirk and Inverurie
• Network Rail say ‘no quick fix’ to problems
Services on both the Aberdeen to Dundee and Aberdeen to Inverness lines had to be cancelled or delayed after bolts of lightning took out signals both north and south of the Granite City.
A spokesman for Network Rail said there had been lightning strikes at Laurencekirk on the Dundee to Aberdeen line and at Inverurie on the Aberdeen to Inverness line.
He said: “The lightning has taken out signalling equipment. We have engineers on site working to repair the signalling equipment and we have also got operation staff onsite working to signal trains through manually where the signalling isn’t working.
“There have obviously been delays to services and earlier on this morning some services either couldn’t continue or couldn’t begin their journeys.”
The spokesman stressed there would be no “quick fix” to the problems on both lines. He explained: “It takes us a bit of time to get the engineers in place. The lightning strike was reported at Inverurie around 6.30 am and the strike at Laurencekirk around 7.30am.
“Lighting strikes on electrical equipment can knock out fuses and could mean we will have to change some of the components in the signals. The equipment will have to be repaired and then brought back online.”
ScotRail apologised to customers for the problems and said the damage was still being assessed with no estimate as to when services will be back to normal.