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BBC Scotland's Alan Mackay reports
"ScotRail admitted it was not coping well with the latest track problems"
 real 56k

ScotRail managing director Alastair McPherson
"All our staff are working very hard to try and get the line back"
 real 28k

Monday, 30 October, 2000, 22:52 GMT
Rail passengers face days of disruption
Edinburgh Waverley
Glasgow and Edinburgh rail services are affected
Disruption to train services in Scotland will continue until Saturday, Raitrack has warned.

ScotRail services between Glasgow and Edinburgh have been cut back to one journey an hour in each direction after a landslip at Polmont.

And Railtrack has pledged to do more to keep passengers informed about disruption on the route.

The promise came after the company's Scottish director Jeanette Anderson met First Minister Henry McLeish to brief him on the current situation.

"We have agreed that in the light of the events of the last seven days, enhanced information to passengers is crucial at this time," she told BBC Scotland.

Rail disruption
Glasgow-Edinburgh services reduced from four to one an hour
Extra services during rush-hour at:
1530, 1630, 1730 from Edinburgh
1630, 1730, 1845 from Glasgow
"We are working flat out, 24 hours a day, to reinstate services first thing on Saturday morning for the travelling public.

"And we will be giving you daily updates at stations for the next five days to let you know how progress is going."

Train services to and from England have also been suspended or seriously disrupted because of severe problems on the nation's railways, and air services have also been affected.

The difficulties caused by the weather have been compounded by the programme of repairs started by Railtrack over the weekend after the Hatfield derailment.

Passengers hoping to travel between Glasgow Queen Street and Edinburgh Waverley stations were told that they faced "massive disruption" on Monday morning.

Polmont landslide site
Rail workers at the track near Polmont
The landslip meant the number of trains was reduced from four to one an hour in each direction.

ScotRail urged passengers to make alternative arrangements if possible

The landslip, which happened early on Sunday, was caused by flood water.

Additional services have been provided between Edinburgh and Glasgow Central via Shotts in both directions and bus services have been arranged between Falkirk Grahamston, Polmont and Edinburgh.

There will also be extra services between Edinburgh and Glasgow Central via Shotts during the evening rush-hour.

From Edinburgh they go at 1530, 1630 and 1730. They leave from Glasgow Central at 1630, 1730 and 1845.

Work carried out

Services between Dunblane and Edinburgh have also been affected.

ScotRail managing director Alastair McPherson said work had been carried out on the line but the problem had worsened.

He told BBC Scotland: "We can only run one train and hour between Glasgow and Edinburgh at the minute, although we have put extra trains on from Glasgow Central through to Edinburgh.

"We've got local services running from Linlithgow into Edinburgh and from Falkirk into Glasgow.

"It's massive disruption. This is a critical stretch of track and we've no way round it other than going via Carstairs or via Shotts which requires going from Glasgow Central."

Jeanette Anderson
Jeanette Anderson promised more information
ScotRail's sleeper services from London Euston to Aberdeen/Inverness and Fort William were cancelled on Monday night.

It said passengers would be able to travel on the sleeper services from London to Glasgow and Edinburgh - which will also be subject to delays - then switch to connecting services.

Storm force conditions have also led to the cancellation or suspension of travel services in England and Wales, including the partial closure of the east coast main line south of the border.

Virgin Trains, which runs the West Coast Main Line service, said it had suspended all services and GNER said its services out of London had been cancelled.

GNER plans to revert to a revised timetable on Tuesday, with trains to Glasgow Central, Aberdeen and Inverness only running as far as Edinburgh Waverley.

Revised timetable

Buses will be provided to take passengers to Aberdeen, Inverness and Motherwell.

The company predicted delays of up to an hour on services to and from London and warned that the revised timetable could run for several weeks.

The weather problems also caused disruption at Scottish airports.

Shuttle flights to London were facing delays and cancellations, while Edinburgh, Glasgow and Prestwick airports have received a number of long-haul flights diverted from Heathrow.

And motorists were also hit by major delays after the M9 motorway was closed near Stirling, leading to massive tailbacks.

The northbound closure came after a truck carrying a heavy load hit a bridge.

Passengers wishing to check on rail services have been asked to ring National Rail Enquiries on 08457 484950.

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See also:

30 Oct 00 | Scotland
Minister highlights rail safety
30 Oct 00 | UK
Rail network paralysed
30 Oct 00 | UK
Storms batter Britain
29 Oct 00 | Scotland
On track for more train delays
27 Oct 00 | Scotland
Speed curbs put on rail lines
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