Cross-border rail line closed as bridges ‘washed away’ amid flooding

Network Rail said two road bridges had been ‘washed away’.

A cross-border rail line remains closed after two road bridges were “washed away” amid torrential rain.

Network Rail Scotland said the bridges spanned the River Annan, north of the railway with trains unable to pass over a viaduct, closing the Dumfries to Carlisle line.

It tweeted: “Two road bridges have been washed away on the river Annan, north of the railway.

“We’re unable to allow trains to pass over the Annan Viaduct pending a daylight safety inspection.

“The line between Dumfries and Carlisle will remain closed until further notice.”

The incident happened after a major incident was declared in Hawick in the Scottish Borders with up to 500 properties feared to be at risk of flooding.

An evacuation of homes has been halted with residents advised they are safe to return and a rest centre closed.

The major incident was stood down after Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) indicated the River Teviot reached a peak of 2.9m at 7.30pm and is now expected to steadily recede.

Schools and a health centre in the town were closed earlier along with schools in Peebles which was also hit by flooding as the River Tweed burst its banks.

The Scottish Borders Council said: “The evacuation of residents has now ceased and members of the public are being advised that they are safe to return to their homes.”

Heavy rain and floods hit travel across southern Scotland and northern England.

Weather warnings of heavy rain are in force across southern Scotland and northern England, including an amber alert for Cumbria which warns of “danger to life from fast flowing or deep floodwater”.

Sepa has issued 20 flood warnings and five flood alerts mainly covering southern Scotland, while in England 16 flood alerts and nine flood warnings are in place in the North West.

A minor landslide has blocked the B725 road around six miles from Dumfries and as police warned of large areas of flooding on that road from Dumfries to Glencaple.

As well as the Dumfries to Carlisle line, other trains were disrupted by the weather, including the Edinburgh to Glasgow Central via Shotts, Edinburgh to Glasgow Queen Street via Falkirk High and Glasgow Queen Street to Alloa/Aberdeen/Inverness services.

An amber warning of heavy rain for Cumbria in north-west England was in force until 11.59pm on Thursday while a yellow warning of rain, which also includes Yorkshire and Humber, was in force from midnight until 3pm on Friday.

A yellow warning of rain for south-west England applies from 3pm on Thursday until 9am on Friday while one is already in force in Wales and lasts until 3pm on Friday.

Cumbria Police warned some roads may be impassable, while at around 6am on Thursday South Lakes police tweeted the A591 Rydal to Grasmere road was not passable “due to the depth of flood waters in several locations” and urged people not to take unnecessary risks and only to travel if they really need to.

Scotland’s transport minister Graeme Dey said: “The conditions could potentially bring disruption to the trunk road and rail networks, so it’s important people plan their journeys before they set off.

“Motorists should make sure their routes are available, follow travel advice from Police Scotland and drive to the conditions.”

He added: “If you are planning to travel by rail, please check with your operator ahead of your journey.

“This is particularly important for cross-border travellers following the earlier disruption to services.”

The Met Office tweeted on Thursday evening 370mm of rain had been recorded at Honister Pass in Cumbria between 1am on Wednesday and 6pm on Thursday.

It reported 132mm of rain at Eskdalemuir in Dumfries and Galloway in the same period.

The Met Office has predicted persistent and heavy rain on Friday which could become drier by the afternoon with a risk still on heavy showers.

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