Wednesday 15 Nov 2006


Region & Route:
Scotland’s Railway: Scotland
Train services to Georgemas in the far north resumed today after completion of repair works at more than one hundred sites in the Highlands. This means that all Highland services are now running apart from those between Georgemas and Wick, where floods totally destroyed a railway bridge at Watten. Repair work at this location will take a few weeks to complete due to the volume of water still lying at the site; in the meantime replacement buses are operating. David Simpson, Route Director for Scotland, said: “Over the past few weeks our teams have carried out a phenomenal amount of work to repair the railway in the Highlands. Extreme weather caused serious damage to the infrastructure at more than one hundred locations; we have completed work at all but one of these and will continue to work around the clock until all lines are running normally. "The railway bridge at Watten was completely destroyed by floods and landslides; because the area is still totally waterlogged our engineers have not been able to fully examine or repair the bridge. We don't want to wait any longer before getting on with the job so we are now going to erect steel piles to create a dam so that we can physically pump the water out of the area. Once we've carried out a full inspection we will get going with the repairs." The work carried out by Network Rail at 104 sites included repairing bridges, relaying track, removing trees and shifting tonnes of rubble that landed on the railway during last month’s storms. Service information is available from First ScotRail ( or 0845 601 5929) or National Rail Enquiries ( or 08457 48 49 50).

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