ScotRail rush hour trains have been canceled as Storm Jocelyn hits
Rush hour trains have been canceled across Scotland’s rail network as Storm Jocelyn sweeps through the country.
Wind speeds are expected to reach 70mph, which ScotRail said could result in trees and other debris falling onto the tracks.
Services will remain suspended throughout Wednesday morning, including during peak passenger hour, as the rail operator carries out safety checks.
The yellow wind warning came into effect at 18:00 on Tuesday and will remain in place until 08:00 on Wednesday. It covers the west coast of Scotland, Orkney and part of the north and north-east.
There is also a yellow wind warning currently in effect which will remain in place until noon on Wednesday.
ScotRail said each route must undergo a safety inspection before trains can run, meaning it will be later on Wednesday before services can run.
Dozens of services have already been canceled before the 19:00 deadline comes into effect.
Phil Campbell, ScotRail’s director of customer operations, told BBC’s Good Morning Scotland program that the company had no choice but to close the network again on Tuesday evening due to forecast high winds.
“Although the winds will be a little less strong with Storm Jocelyn, our forecasters are telling us they will be enough to bring down trees and more debris on the line,” he added.
“The network shutdown from 19:00 tonight until peak hour tomorrow is simply to make sure our customers and staff are safe and also to give some certainty as to what is running and what is not.”
He urged customers to check online for the latest information. Any tickets dated January 20th will be valid until January 26th.
When asked why the entire network needed to be shut down when the high winds forecast for Storm Joslyn were more localized, he said the previous storm had reduced the network’s resilience and that saturated ground meant there was a greater risk of trees falling.
On Tuesday night, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) issued 33 flood warnings and 14 warnings.
LNER advised passengers not to travel north of Newcastle after 15:00 on Tuesday.
Finlay McRae, chief operating officer at CalMac, said: “It is a difficult and difficult time for communities, with travel and supply chain disruptions during extended periods of adverse weather.
“The safety of our crews, port employees, and the customers we serve is our priority. We are eternally grateful to the communities who use the network for their patience and understanding during storms.”
This comes after thousands of people were left without electricity. SSEN said supplies had been restored to about 37,000 customers by Tuesday afternoon, with only 370 properties remaining without power.
The company said it had more than 400 field staff deployed in the network area of northern Scotland in response to Storm Isha – around five times staffing levels on a “business as usual” day.
SP Energy Networks said it had restored power to 65,000 customers in central and southern Scotland, with 1,500 still waiting to be reconnected on Tuesday evening.
The Met Office for North East Scotland on Sunday night issued a rare red life warning.
Workers have now removed a large tree that fell on an electricity substation in the Kinnaird area of Larbert, Falkirk, on Sunday.
Engineers work all day to try to restore power to affected homes and businesses.
Local schools will reopen as usual on Wednesday morning.
Wind gusts of 84 mph were recorded by the Met Office in the village of Salsburg, North Lanarkshire, 81 mph (130 km/h) at Kirkwall in Orkney and 80 mph (129 km/h) at Wick in the Highlands .
Parts of central and southern Scotland witnessed the highest wind gusts in more than 10 years, with Glasgow and Edinburgh recording their strongest gusts since December 5, 2013.
Jocelyn is the tenth storm to hit the UK since September.