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Week long closure in place as severe flooding washes away part of railway line in Perthshire

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A railway line through Perthshire will be closed for a week after heavy rain washed away parts of the track.

Services between Glasgow, Oban and Mallaig have been cancelled and revised for the next seven days after Sunday’s dramatic downpour caused chaos to infrastructure between Crianlarich, Tyndrum and Oban.

The flooding caused the ballast which support the railway line’s sleepers to dislodge at five different spots along the West Highland Line.

The worst affected area was a “wash away” on the track between Ardlui and Crianlarich. A second site in this area was also damaged.

Three further spots between Tyndrum and Oban were hit by the flooding.

More than 1,000 tons of material has been displaced on the line through Perthshire.

Network Rail says the railway closure will be in place for the next seven days as “essential repairs” are carried out.

The line has been closed since Sunday night with services cancelled, and others either ending or starting at Crianlarich.

The damage to the railway line.

The tracks will need to be re-laid before normal service resumes.

Journeys are continuing to run between Mallaig and Crianlarich, and between Glasgow Queen Street, Arrochar and Ardlui.

ScotRail says the line has suffered “extensive damage” and requires “urgent repair”.

In a statement the firm added: “Due to heavy rain flooding the railway between Tyndrum Lower and Dalmally the line is closed. Disruption is expected until the end of the day.

“Network Rail continue to work hard to repair the damage caused to the railway by the significant flooding on the West Highland Line.

“At five separate sites between Ardlui and Crianlarich, and Crianlarich and Oban, the stones (ballast) that support the railway sleepers have been dislodged and washed away.

“The ballast is essential to a safe railway as it supports the track and helps drainage.

“Until these parts of the track have been re-laid, it is unsafe to operate trains on the line.

“Our Network Rail colleagues have advised that the current line closures will remain in place for the next seven days to allow the essential repair works to take place.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience this will cause some of our customers. From Tuesday (August 5) a temporary timetable will be in place to keep our customers moving where possible.”

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “Our engineers are working hard to fully assess the repairs required to reopen the line as quickly as possible for customers.

“The flooding over the weekend has caused significant damage at multiple locations along the line and we will need to rebuild the track-bed and supporting embankments in some locations before we can reopen the line.”

More information on affected journeys can be found by clicking here.

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