Major service changes on East Coast Main Line as Storm Arwen arrives in Britain: Network Rail logo

Friday 26 Nov 2021

Major service changes on East Coast Main Line as Storm Arwen arrives in Britain

Region & Route:

Network Rail and train operators are warning passengers of severe disruption to rail services tonight and into the weekend as wind speeds of up to 100mph are forecast.

From 17:00 today (Friday, 26 November) no trains will be able to enter or exit Scotland via the East Coast Main Line, with some train operators urging passengers not to travel. This closure will remain in place until at least midnight tonight.

Speed restrictions are also in place across the route, which means trains will have to travel through these areas at a reduced speed. This will mean longer journey times for those travelling.

High winds impact the running of the railway as they can cause overhead line equipment, which powers some trains, to sway and get tangled on train equipment, causing damage and delays. Strong winds can also blow debris and trees onto the railway, which then has to be moved by teams from Network Rail.  

Sarah Reid, Route Director for Network Rail’s East Coast, said: “Severe weather such as this does cause problems for the railway and we are doing all we can to keep services moving where possible and it is safe to do so.

“However, we are expecting major service changes tonight and into the weekend, particularly with the closure of the East Coast Main Line in and out of Scotland from 17:00. We’d urge all passengers to check their individual journey ahead of travelling, which can be done by visiting National Rail Enquiries or their train operator’s website.”

Warrick Dent, LNER Safety and Operations Director, said: “We are encouraging our customers with tickets dated for today, 26 November and this coming weekend, to defer their travel arrangements where possible.

“We expect services to be extremely busy throughout the weekend and advise customers to check our website and social channels for the latest information.”


Notes to Editors

Detailed travel info:

Advice for CrossCountry customers:

Trains will not run between Edinburgh and Newcastle for the remainder of today (Friday). Customers are advised not to travel between Edinburgh and Newcastle today. Customers can obtain a refund of their tickets from the original point of purchase.

No ticket acceptance is in place. If you're currently travelling, and your journey is affected, you are advised to abandon your journey. CrossCountry staff will endeavour to assist you in returning to your point of origin.

Advice for LNER customers:

Speed restrictions will be in place between Edinburgh and York from 15:00 this afternoon.

LNER customers are advised to defer travel where possible. Tickets dated today, Saturday 27 November or Sunday 28 November will be valid for travel between Monday 29 November and Wednesday 1 December. Customers are encouraged to travel as close to their original booked time as possible.

Seats are extremely limited on LNER services and reservations are advised. Please see here to make a seat reservation.

LNER are in the process of formulating their train plan and alternative travel arrangements. We will provide an update once we have more information.

Advice for ScotRail customers:

ScotRail services between Edinburgh and North Berwick / Dunbar will be cancelled until the end of the day.

The last services to run on each route are as follows:

  • 15:41 Edinburgh to North Berwick
  • 16:24 North Berwick to Edinburgh
  • 14:14 Edinburgh to Dunbar
  • 15:06 Dunbar to Edinburgh

Buses have been requested to run between Edinburgh and North Berwick.

You can use your ticket on Lothian buses between Edinburgh and Prestonpans.

ScotRail services between Inverness and Aberdeen / Wick may be cancelled, delayed by up to 20 minutes or revised until the end of the day.

Trains from Inverness to Wick will not call at Thurso. A minibus will run from Georgemas Junction to Thurso and onto Wick if required. The bus will depart Georgemas Junction at 14:10, 17:36 and 22:06.

You may also use your ticket on Stagecoach North buses between Inverness and Wick.

ScotRail services between Edinburgh and Arbroath are running between Edinburgh and Dundee only until the end of the day.

You may use your ticket on Stagecoach East buses between Dundee and Arbroath.

Advice for Grand Central customers:

If you are booked to travel on trains between Sunderland and London Kings Cross on Saturday 27 November, please do not travel. Your ticket will be valid for use on Grand Central services on Monday 29 or Tuesday 30 November instead. Alternatively, you can claim a refund from your point of purchase for any unused tickets.

On Sunday 28 November, you must have a seat reservation to travel on Grand Central trains.


Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Kathryn Muffett
Media Relations Manager
Network Rail
01904 383180

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