Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Gibson praises those trying to open Far North Line

News release

Immediate release 22/12/10

Seven feet drifts and fallen trees have helped close the Far North Rail Line during the latest blast of winter the wintery spell recently.

The information was released to Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Mr Gibson after he contacted Network Rail asking why the line had been closed.

The response from network rail said that....

‘ The problems experienced recently on the line are due to the volume of snow over an extended period of time. We do plough the lines and across Scotland we have 10 snow ploughs with half of those dedicated to the North. Despite the ploughs being fully in operation it has still proved difficult to keep the line clear of snow, partly due to fresh snowfalls and partly due to drag from trains pulling snow onto the line. The amount of snow has meant in some cases the snow plough was unable to get beyond Forsinard.’

‘In addition, we have faced a particular problem with snow laden trees falling on the line. It has proved difficult on many occasions getting maintenance staff to the location due to the remoteness and impassable roads.’

Snow plough deal with snow on line

Mr Gibson has praised the work of the maintenance staff which have battled the elements to try and keep the line open....

“I pay tribute to the maintenance staff who have been working hard to keep the line open. However it seems that sheer weight of snow and fallen trees have prevented it. The weather has been particularly bad in the north and as the pictures show there is a great deal of snow to shift as well as the problems of falling trees.”

“I was concerned about the prolonged closure of the route but am sure that Network Rail are doing all they can to open the line. I wish the people out on the line all the best in their endeavours.”


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