ScotRail announces cancellation of numerous Wick-Inverness services amid warning for 'extreme weather'; Network Rail Scotland has advised that Far North Line services will be subject to speed restrictions and cancellations; as too will other Highland routes
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ALL trains in Caithness and Sutherland are likely to be disrupted by "extreme weather" over the next 24 hours, Network Rail Scotland has warned railway passengers.
Temporary 40mph speed limits are being introduced on the Kyle Line, Far North Line, Inverness-Aberdeen route and the Highland Mainline between Inverness and Perth. Indeed, ScotRail has already announced a swathe of cancellations to Inverness-Wick services throughout Monday.
Elsewhere in the Highlands, the West Highland Line between Crianlarich and Oban/Mallaig will also be subject to the same reduced speed limits.
A Network Rail Scotland spokesman: "Exceptionally heavy rain is expected over the next 24 hours with 30-70mm forecast across the north and west in particular, on top of melting snow as temp rise.
"We've worked closely with passenger and freight operators to coordinate our response to this extreme weather.
"In response, we'll implement 40mph or lower speed restrictions on [those] routes."
They added: "Please check with your train operator (@ScotRail, @LNER, @CalSleeper) before you travel, as this will affect the number of trains which can run on these routes and journey times will be extended.
"Our Integrated Control team in Glasgow will monitor the weather, river telemetry, areas prone to flooding and coordinate our response. On the ground, we'll inspect structures in worst affected areas and right now, we're proactively checking pumping kit before the rain arrives."
The disruption comes ahead of two weather warnings from the Met Office. The heavy rain mentioned by Network Rail Scotland has sparked a yellow warning for western parts of the Highlands overnight from Sunday into Monday, while a yellow warning for snow has also been announced for the eastern and central Highland areas on Monday.
The areas covered by the rain alert are also being warned that this will likely turn back to snow on higher routes as Monday develops.
For the latest information on potential rail disruption, visit www.scotrail.co.uk.
Related articles: Snow and rain warnings issued by the Met Office