Closed until Saturday – The West Highland Line

Landslip on the West Highland Line pic by Network Rail Scotland https://twitter.com/NetworkRailSCOT

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A landslip on the West Highland Line will mean train services between Crianlarich and Fort William being affected until at least Saturday.

Extensive damage was caused on a section of the line between the neighbouring stations of Bridge of Orchy and Upper Tyndrum, said Scot Rail.

Passenger train services provided by Scot Rail and Caledonian Sleeper have been affected, as well as GB Rail Freight Ltd.

Network Rail Scotland said it is working hard on site and expects the line to reopen on Saturday.

Train services between Glasgow Queen Street and the terminus at Mallaig for ferries to Skye have been ‘revised’ with buses in place in some areas.

The closure sparked calls from John Finnie MSP, the Scottish Greens Transport spokesman, that ‘immediate action’ is needed to ‘climate proof’ Scotland’s railways.

Mr Finnie said: ‘We know that Scotland’s antiquated rail network is vulnerable to adverse weather, and we know that as the climate emergency grips we will be faced by increasingly severe weather.

‘Action must be taken now to protect and enhance Scotland’s railway.

‘Many of my constituents rely on the West Highland Line, and it provides a massive economic boost to communities along its route, but frustrations are building at regular closures caused by the weather.

‘I commend those who work tirelessly to keep the railway open, but it’s clear that we urgently need a climate plan to protect this and other lines.’

Mr Finnie said the fatal derailment on August 12 which left three dead near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, had shown what tragic consequences could arise.

He said: ‘The Scottish Government needs to urgently develop and implement a climate plan for Scotland’s railway, that ensures the current network is protected and all future improvements are climate proofed.’

The route reopened on July 13 following repair works between Fort William and Mallaig.

The line had been closed by damaged tracks at Lochailort after extreme rainfall caused a nearby stream to overflow and wash-away a section of the railway embankment beneath the line.

Engineers worked around-the-clock to replace more than 1,600 tons of material washed away by the flash-flood on June 25 and to install new under-track drainage systems and relay over 80metres of track.