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Storm Ophelia: Trains cancelled and roads blocked as ex-hurricane hits east coast

Engineers from Network Rail working to get the track back open.
Engineers from Network Rail working to get the track back open.

Rail services through Fife were plunged into chaos this morning after a train hit a tree on the line near Markinch.

Storm Ophelia hit Scotland in the early hours and has caused disruption across the transport network, with a number of flights from Scottish airports to Belfast and Dublin cancelled.

Scores of trains were delayed or cancelled because of the blockage in Fife. The problems also affected Aberdeen-Dundee-Edinburgh routes, Perth-Edinburgh and local Fife services.

Storm Ophelia: Is Tayside and Fife in the clear as deadly ex-hurricane heads out to sea?

ScotRail said the affected train has now been removed and the line is reopened, however services are still subject to cancellations and delays.

Markinch railway station.

Earlier a spokesman for ScotRail said: “Unfortunately a freight train has struck a tree in the Markinch area and all services in the Fife area are currently suspended.” The closure is expected to last until noon.

Drivers throughout Fife were also warned to take extra care on the roads due to the possibility of fallen trees or other debris.

A fallen tree closed the B9037 Sharps Brae to High Valleyfield road in both directions, while there were also reports of a tree partially blocking the road on the Kirkcaldy to Cluny road.

A tree also came down in Kirkcaldy’s Dunvegan Avenue, narrowly missing properties.

The Forth Road Bridge and Queensferry Crossing were both shut to double decker buses during the rush hour because of the high winds.

High winds closed the Tay Road Bridge to double deckers, with a 30mph speed limit in place. Drivers are being urged to be cautious going across the Friarton Bridge near Perth.

The Met Office said the storm will be dying down this morning as it makes its ways across the east coast into Tayside and Fife.

A yellow, or “severe”, weather warning for wind will remain in place for the regions until 3pm with power cuts, travel disruption and building damage still possible.

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