Storm Dudley: Tree hits power line over railway track in Beattock
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Video footage captured the tree set on fire when it hit the 25V overhead power lines in Beattock on Wednesday. Rail services in Scotland are returning to normal after Storm Dudley swept across the country, causing disruption to travel. ScotRail services were wound down by 4pm on Wednesday due to Met Office amber weather warnings for high winds, though some services began running again on Thursday morning after safety checks on the line.
Scotland was buffeted with strong winds as Storm Dudley hit, with a gust of 74mph recorded at Drumalbin in South Lanarkshire, the Met Office said.
Network Rail Scotland said its engineers have inspected more than 1,500 miles of track over the past ten hours and that apart from three signalling problems, Scotland’s Railway is “open for business”.
It comes as train travellers have been urged to rethink their journeys for Friday as stormy conditions threaten disruption on the railways, with all services cancelled across Wales.
Strong winds from Storm Eunice could cause trees to be blown on to train lines, possibly leading to delays and cancellations elsewhere, the Rail Delivery Group said.
A Network Rail spokesman said disruption is “inevitable” and Welsh services will be suspended for the whole day, as the Met Office issued a red weather warning and said flying debris could result in danger to life.
The railway operator said there will be blanket speed restrictions of 50mph in most places, with winds forecast to reach 90mph in some areas.
The decision for a countrywide closure of lines in Wales “has not been made lightly”, said Bill Kelly of Network Rail Wales and Borders.
He added: “The safety of passengers and staff is our top priority.”
Storm Eunice: Weather chart shows winds up to 100mph
Passengers have been advised that disruption is likely into the weekend as more than 1,000 miles of track in Wales is checked and cleared of debris and fallen trees.
The most serious red weather warning is in place for the coastline of Devon, Cornwall and Somerset as well as the south coast of Wales.
South Western Railway said a speed restriction would be in place across its entire network for most of Friday, with services on the Island Line not running between Ryde Pier Head and Ryde Esplanade all day, and services between Lymington Pier and Brockenhurst not available until around 2pm.
An amber weather warning is also in place covering the rest of Wales and much of England as far north as Manchester and Hull, while a yellow warning covers Northern Ireland and much of Scotland.
Storm Eunice mapped: Eerie footage shows brewing storm threatening UK [MAP]
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Met Office weather warning extended to SATURDAY [INSIGHT]
TransPennine Express urged people not to take the train on Friday amid severe weather expected in northern England and Scotland.
Warning that “significant disruption is likely”, the operator urged customers to travel on Thursday or wait until Saturday.
Paul Watson, operations director for the firm, said: “Storm Eunice will be the second storm to impact our services this week and it is likely to cause major disruption to train services, right across the North of England and into Scotland.
“The most important thing is that our customers and staff are kept safe, and we are urging customers not to travel by train on Friday 18 February. We are instead asking customers to make their journeys on either Thursday 17 or Saturday 19 February.”
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