'Do not travel': Rail firms suspend services in Scotland amid 'heavy rain' warnings

A ScotRail train.
ScotRail has announced a series of cancellations. Credit: PA

Rail companies have announced a series of cancellations to services in Scotland as torrential rainfall is expected to batter northern parts of the UK today.

The development comes as northern and southern parts of the UK will continue to see a contrast in weather this weekend, with high temperatures in the south.

Amber and yellow rain warnings have been issued by the Met Office for large parts of Scotland and northern England from Saturday to Sunday morning.

Fine and dry weather in southern and central England, meanwhile, could see temperatures rise as high as 25C by Sunday afternoon.

Oli Claydon, spokesman for the Met Office, said: "For the south of the UK, we've got slightly ridged conditions and higher pressure bringing a more settled day with a fair amount of sunshine around.

"[It will be] dry for pretty much everyone in the southern half of the country and unseasonably warm temperatures as well.

"As we get into the very far north of England and into Scotland that's where the difference starts, with some persistent and heavy rain across Scotland and mostly notably in western Scotland, where we're likely to see the highest totals."

A yellow rain warning covering much of Scotland, active from midnight on Saturday to 6am on Sunday, could bring rainfall of 50-75mm in low-lying areas and close to 100mm on higher ground.

Within that is a separate amber warning covering Central Scotland, Tayside and Fife from 3am on Saturday to 6am the following day.

The Met Office said this area could see as much as 150-180mm of rainfall accumulating in the wettest spots.

Scotland's national train operator ScotRail has announced a series of cancellations expected to take place until Sunday morning due to the adverse weather conditions.

From 1am on Saturday, the West Highland line, which operates in Oban, Mallaig and Fort William, will be suspended.

The Helensburgh Central/Balloch to Dalmuir service will also stop, though services between Dalmuir and Glasgow will remain in operation.

Services on the Highland Main Line route between Perth and Inverness will also cease.

ScotRail said the majority of other routes across its network will also be affected due to temporary speed restrictions put in place as a safety precaution.

Customers have been advised to travel only when necessary, to expect delays and to check their journey before setting off.

Those whose journey has been cancelled or disrupted due to the weather can travel one day before or two days after the date on their ticket.

Fee-free refunds will also be given where this is not applicable.

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Network Rail Scotland advised it would invoke speed limits in the interest of public safety.

On X, formerly known as Twitter, a spokesperson said: "Yellow and Amber warnings in place in some areas due to extreme rainfall.

"180mm [a month's worth] could fall in just 36 hours, widespread flooding likely.

"We'll close three lines and limit speeds on all others during this to keep everyone safe."

Avanti West Coast, meanwhile, advised customers between Scotland and Preston not to travel, and confirmed there would be no services running north of the latter.

Customers may use their ticket on Sunday or Monday, or they can claim a full fee-free refund.

Transpenine Express services between Manchester, Liverpool, Preston to Carlisle and Glasgow and Edinburgh are also affected.

The company advised customers not to travel and to instead claim a full refund.

So far, none of Scotland's ferry services or bus operators has announced any disruption or cancellation in light of the amber weather warning.

Ruth Ellis, flood duty manager for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, said flooding and widespread transport disruption was likely.

Scotland's Transport Minister Fiona Hyslop said: "It's important people plan their journeys before they set off.

"Motorists should make sure their routes are available, follow the travel advice from Police Scotland and drive in accordance with the conditions.

"If you are planning to travel by train, ferry or plane, please check with your operators to see if the conditions are having any impact on your services.”

Scottish government Resilience Room officials met on Friday afternoon to gather and assess the latest updates from the Met Office, Sepa, Transport Scotland, Police Scotland and utilities ahead of the Met Office amber weather warning for rain coming into effect.

Heavy rainfall is expected across Scotland. Credit: PA

Scotland's Justice Secretary and Minister for Resilience Angela Constance said: "The Scottish government and partners will continue to monitor the situation closely and ministers are being kept updated."

Temperatures in south-east England could reach 24C on Saturday, with the Midlands and Wales also remaining sunny.

The fine and settled conditions here will continue into Sunday, though with slightly more cloud and hazy sunshine, with high temperatures more widespread across central and southern areas of England, Mr Claydon said.

Rainfall in Scotland will move northwards through the day, with dry and more cloudy conditions expected in previously affected areas.

Mr Claydon said temperatures in Scotland will not climb any higher than 13C on Saturday and 16C on Sunday, due to more cloud and a lack of warmer air.