Scotland weather: West Coast Main Line to remain closed until Friday

A snow plough clears the A939 after heavy snowfall in the Highlands.A snow plough clears the A939 after heavy snowfall in the Highlands.
A snow plough clears the A939 after heavy snowfall in the Highlands.
The West Coast Main Line between Glasgow and Carlisle will remain shut until Friday after flooding caused “significant damage” to an embankment.

Heavy rain ahead of Hogmanay led to disruption across the Scottish rail network, with trains being cancelled over the weekend.

Engineers spent the weekend assessing the damage to the embankment beneath the railway line south of Carstairs in South Lanarkshire.

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On Sunday, Network Rail said extensive work is needed to stabilise the track’s foundations.

The line will remain closed until January 6The line will remain closed until January 6
The line will remain closed until January 6

Work will continue around the clock to remove landslide debris – affecting a 40 metre section of the line – before replacing it with more than 200 tonnes of stone.

The line is not expected to reopen until at least January 6.

A Network Rail spokesman said: “Flooding has caused significant damage beneath the track and we will need to rebuild the supporting embankment before reopening the line.

“This is a very challenging project but we understand the inconvenience closing the line will cause to customers and are working hard to reopen the railway as quickly as we can.”

An Avanti West Coast spokesman added: “While our colleagues at Network Rail are working hard to reopen the affected parts of the line damaged by the landslip caused by extreme weather, our advice to customers is do not travel to and from Scotland on the West Coast Main Line.

“Customers are being advised not to travel north of Carlisle as there are no services."

Following the flooding, there is an ice warning for Monday, with overnight temperatures plunging to -8.

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While Monday represents the best conditions for a New Year walk, the Met Office has warned anyone stepping out that slippery surfaces will be an issue.

A nationwide warning covers the entire country, from the English border to the tip of Shetland. Showers of rain, sleet and snow were expected to freeze overnight, resulting in treacherous conditions on untreated roads and pavements. A low of minus 8.6C was recorded in Altnaharra in the Highlands on Saturday night, and similar overnight temperatures were expected in rural spots on Sunday.

Traffic Scotland yesterday used its Twitter feed to warn of snow settling on the A9 at Daviot and Drumochter, near Inverness, with reports of heavy snow around Aviemore and Kingussie.

Pictures showed whiteout conditions affecting nearby Carrbridge.

Dan Stroud of the Met Office said: “Monday will be a pretty cold day, with most of Scotland experiencing a fine and pleasant bank holiday Monday. But it is worth noting that temperatures will be very low in the morning.”

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) warned people to steer clear of receding flood water.

Sepa had 10 Regional flood alerts, 29 local flood warnings and a severe flood warning in place for Dumfries on Friday. Impacts across the country were significant, with levels at the River Nith being the highest ever recorded, and higher than Storm Frank in 2015 and flooding in December 1982.



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