Delay in getting trains back on track after landslip blocks West Highland Line

WEST HIGHLAND LINE LANDSLIDE 22/1/18 The Spinter train trapped in the mud of the landslide just beyond Glenfinnan, on the world famous West Highland Line. PICTURE IAIN FERGUSON, THE WRITE IMAGE

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The landslip that saw a river of mud and rock roar down a Highland hillside and resulted in an early morning train being derailed at Loch Eilt near Glenfinnan on Monday, has meant the route has remained closed for much of this week.

Tonnes of stone and mud were deposited on the track after the mountainside above the railway gave way overnight on Sunday.

Five passengers were on board  the 6.03am service when it came off the track, but no injuries were reported.

ScotRail Alliance had hoped services could resume today (Thursday), but the damage to the track is thought to be worse than first realised.

It has meant that trains between Glasgow Queen Street and Mallaig are terminating at, and starting back from, Fort William this week, and a replacement bus service is in operation to keep passengers on the move between Fort William and Mallaig.

ScotRail Alliance says work to clear the landslip from the line will only begin once engineers have completed checks, including aerial inspections, to ensure the slope above the railway is stable.

Recovery works were expected to start on Tuesday (January 23) and may take several days to complete.

David Dickson, ScotRail Alliance infrastructure director, told us: ‘Our engineers are on site assessing the damage and working to put plans in place to repair the line.

‘We will re-open the railway as soon as possible, but significant work is required to clear the line and stabilise the slope above.

‘We are grateful to customers for their patience during the disruption and buses are running between Fort William and Mallaig to help keep people on the move.’

Customers delayed by 30 minutes or more can claim a refund under ScotRail’s Delay Repay compensation scheme. Anyone wishing to claim should keep hold of their ticket and visit the ScotRail website.

 

WEST HIGHLAND LINE LANDSLIDE 22/1/18 The Sprinter train trapped in the mud of the landslide just beyond Glenfinnan, on the world famous West Highland Line. PICTURE IAIN FERGUSON, THE WRITE IMAGE

IF F04 RAILWAY LANDSLIDE07