Flood-hit railway line to remain closed as repairs 'could take days'

The damage to the line is extensive and it will take several days for engineers to complete repairs.

Flood-hit West Highland railway line to remain closed as repairs could take days, Network Rail says Network Rail

Rail disruption is continuing in the Highlands after heavy rainfall and thunderstorms battered the area.

The West Highland Line has been closed since Monday after almost a week’s worth of rain fell over six hours.

Network Rail said that there were three sites of track damage along the line, around one mile apart between Roy Bridge and Tulloch and trains were unable to run.

It was originally estimated that the line would reopen on Thursday morning, however infrastructure managers have now said the line will be closed for several more days while repairs are ongoing.

Engineers are working around the clock to repair the damage, Network Rail said, and the affected line will remain closed between Fort William and Crianlarich until early next week.

The repairs include rebuilding a section of the line where over 400 tons of material has been washed away from beneath the track. 

Network Rail identified three sites of damage which engineers are now working around the clock to fix.Network Rail

It means that engineers will need to rebuild the embankment beneath the line and relay the track before the railway can reopen.

Due to the complexity of the repairs and the need to wait for the flooding to subside before beginning work, exact timescales for the reopening of the line cannot be confirmed at this time.

Liam Sumpter, Network Rail Scotland route director, said: “Flash-flooding has caused significant damage to the railway and we are working hard to repair and reopen the line as quickly as we can for our customers.

“The damage to the line is extensive and it will take several days for our engineers to complete repairs.

“We understand the difficulties this incident will cause for our customers and local residents and will reopen the line as soon as we can.”

For passengers who had planned to travel on the route between Fort William and Crianlarich, ScotRail said that buses will be running in both directions as a replacement, but are unable to call at Spean Bridge, Roy Bridge, Tulloch, Corrour and Rannoch.

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