A LANDSLIDE has shut part of a world-renowned Scottish rail line - a day after another slip has lead to the closure of an iconic Highlands road.

It has led to urgent calls to climate-proof our transport system as the latest incidents come a month after three died when the Aberdeen to Glasgow service crashed after derailing near Stonehaven. It is thought it hit a landslip after heavy rain.

The West Highland Line between Crianlarich and Fort William was shut yesterday (Monday) morning with attempts being made to lay on after the landslide near Bridge of Orchy.

Network Rail Scotland, which is responsible for the infrastructure of the rail network, said their teams were "assessing the damage and what needs to be done to get the railway open again."

It expected that the line, once voted the top rail journey in the world, would be closed until at least the end of Monday.

ScotRail confirmed that while the disruption was in place, transport could not be laid on to help serve Rannoch and Corrour.

READ MORE: Unprecedented' - Public inquiry call as A83 Rest and be Thankful remains closed after another landslip 'disaster'

Disruption was felt across the service running from Glasgow Queen Street to Mallaig and was also expected to hit the Caledonian Sleeper and freight services.

It comes as it was announced that the A83 Rest and be Thankful route was to remain closed at least till tomorrow (Tuesday)after another landslip left 2000 tonnes of debris strewn onto the key Highlands artery.


Communities were told on August 13 that the A83 Rest And Be Thankful was expected to be shut for a further three weeks after the last landslip amid heavy rain on August 4.

But another landslip on Sunday the road covered in earth and debris as 75mm (3in) of rain fell in 24 hours.

Ministers have previously been accused of wasting nearly £80 million on more than a decade of failed solutions to dealing with landslides on the road after the latest multiple slips in heavy rainfall.

The Scottish Government was due to look at re-route solutions on the vital route for Argyll and Bute after a string of failed attempts to deal with the issue including the use of large catch pits.

The further disruption has prompted disgust by many who depend on the road who have objected to the continuing impasse over a permanent solution with some calling for a public inquiry.

The West Highland Line disruption comes a year after further flood issues led to parts of the line bineg shut for weeks.

In August, last year, Network Rail Scotland, had to fix problems caused after miles of track became submerged or washed away near Inverness, Carrbridge, Ardlui, Crianlarich and Oban, bringing ScotRail travel disruption to and from the area.

It raised concerns from Railfuture, the better rail services campaign group that the issues illustrated "the lack of resilience of the rail network" and how the nation is able to cope with climate change.

Scottish Greens transport spokesman John Finnie called for urgent action to protect Scotland’s rail network.

“The recent fatal derailment near Stonehaven has shown us what tragic consequences can arise. The Scottish Government needs to urgently develop and implement a climate plan for Scotland’s railway, that ensures the current network is protected and all future improvements are climate proofed," he said.

In the wake of the fatal derailment near Stonehaven, Network Rail admitted that the impact of climate change on its network "is an area that is accelerating faster than our assumptions".

It said it was working with meteorologists to understand how real-time information can improve operational responses to severe weather.

The driver, conductor and a passenger died when the Aberdeen to Glasgow train hit washed-out rocks and gravel.

A report by Government-owned Network Rail assessed the current controls and management of thousands of miles of earthworks - the sloped ground beside railway tracks.

It saw hundreds of sites across the country being inspected by engineers, specialist contractors and helicopters over the past three weeks to identify any issues requiring emergency intervention.

It said that it is improving the management of its infrastructure but that it expects further earthwork failures in the future as a result of “challenging weather”.

And it said investment in better weather forecasting was needed to enable local decisions to be made in advance.

It admitted that it could not afford to strengthen all “substandard” trackside slopes but insisted it would target areas with “the highest risk of failure and consequence”.

“It is simply not economically viable to strengthen all sub-standard infrastructure slopes,” its report stated.

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “Recent events are a sharp reminder of the need to adapt our transport network to the effects of severe weather. Climate change will increase the intensity and frequency of storms and flooding.

"Regardless of the progress being made in decarbonising the transport network, adaptation of existing vital infrastructure will be essential.

"We have identified the need for climate change adaptation, mitigation and adaptation as a central plank in the recently published National Transport Strategy which sets out the vison for the next few decades.”