More than 1,400 Scottish trains have been cancelled by a weather front nicknamed the “Beast from the East”.
As of 3.15pm on Wenesday ScotRail has called off 1,428 services due to run throughout the day and into Thursday as a result of the “severe weather” moving in from Russia and Eastern Europe.
Many trains travelling from Dundee, Stonehaven, Arbroath, Carnoustie, Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, Markinch, Aberdour and Cowdenbeath on Wednesday and Thursday have been cancelled.
It is the highest and most serious alert that the forecaster can issue and will be in effect from 3pm on Wednesday until 10am on Thursday. Fife is expected to be the worst hit area.
ScotRail said all services within the red warning area would be cancelled completely on Wednesday and Thursday morning and told customers to head home immediately just after 1pm.
A statement from the organisation said: “As a result of the Met Office warning, services in the RED area will begin to wind down this afternoon in the best interests of our customers and staff. Safety is central to this decision.
“In areas where the RED weather warning applies, customers should head for home NOW. There will be NO train services in the RED weather warning area tonight, or first thing tomorrow morning.”
? ⚠ The Met Office has upgraded their weather warning in the Central Belt to RED from 1500 today until 1000 on Thursday (tomorrow). Please see our tweets below for further information.https://t.co/bQDRUwngWr
— ScotRail (@ScotRail) February 28, 2018
The bulk of the affecting services are in the Glasgow area. A number of trains due to leave from Edinburgh have also been hit.
Temperatures are not predicted to move above freezing as the nation is gripped by the winter conditions.
The forecast is so severe that Stagecoach East Scotland has told locals in the area to head home before 3pm.
Scottish transport minister Humza Yousef has also advised Scots not to travel as the weather continues to deteriorate.
He added: “if you are in that area that is affected either by amber or by red the advice could not be simpler, could not be clearer, avoid travel.
“If you have gone to work, we are talking to employers, you should try and get back before that 3pm red warning if you are in that red warning area that is being affected. try to get back home.
“Keep yourself safe and keep others safe.”
— Traffic Scotland (@trafficscotland) February 28, 2018
More than 400 schools across Scotland have been forced to shut, including many in Perth and Kinross, Angus and Fife.