Engineers have worked to clear 100 tonnes debris from a landslide that closed the road and railway line near Falls of Cruachan. Debris and boulders also fell onto the A85 Oban to Bridgend road, closing it in both directions.
Bear Scotland has managed to reopen one lane of the road which is operating under traffic controls, but Network Rail is still clearing the debris that has closed the Oban line.
It is thought the landslide, which happened at 2.20pm on Monday, was caused by a high volume of water flowing down the embankment from outside the railway boundary after a sudden rise in temperatures following last week’s prolonged freezing conditions.
Eddie Ross, Bear Scotland’s operating company representative, said: “Safety is our top priority, and a full assessment is currently being undertaken”.
“We thank the local community and road users for their patience and assure them we’re doing everything we can alongside our partners in Police Scotland and Network Rail, to address this challenging situation as quickly and safely as we can.”
Ferry and rail services are being cancelled for a second day as strong winds and heavy rain showers cause widespread disruption across the north. Wind speeds of up to 44mph are expected to batter parts of the West Coast today, resulting in delays and disruption to scheduled ferry services. Motorists and rail passengers are also facing a day of disruption following a number of landslides.
Inspections are due to get under way at first light following landslides in Shetland and on the A85 near the Falls of Cruachan.
CalMac services from the mainland to Harris, Barra and Skye are being hampered by the conditions. Crossings between Uig, Lochmaddy and Tarbert, and Mallaig and Armadale have been cancelled for the day due to strong winds and high tides.
Services between Oban and Castlebay have also been called off due to the conditions. Freight services running between Ullapool and Stornoway are also facing disruption.
In a statement published on their website, CalMac wrote: “Due to strong southerly winds and associated sea conditions the 22:30 departing Stornoway has been cancelled.”
MV Lochnevis, servicing Mallaig and the Small Isles, has also pulled from service in light of the forecast. Commuters are being warned to expect widespread disruption across the fleet until the end of the day.
All rail services on the West Highland Line are also being cancelled or revised. Scheduled ScotRail services on the Glasgow to Mallaig railway line are being terminated at Crianlarich.
A replacement bus service will run between Crianlarich and Oban along the diversion route, adding around 90 minutes to each journey. A number of services to Mallaig have also been cancelled due to the conditions.
The A83 Rest and Be Thankful has reopened following concerns for the hillside’s stability. Motorists were diverted along the Old Military Road overnight as Bear Scotland monitored the changing conditions.
Road maintainers carried out a review of the area this morning, searching for damage or safety concerns. The A83 is operating under a convoy system. A review is expected to take place at 9am on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, in Shetland, the A968 Voe to Firth road at Dales Lees road is closed in both directions due to a landslide. Motorists have been diverted away from the area overnight as inspections along the route commence.
People travelling to Toft Ferry are asked to use an alternative route via Graven and Brae. Shetland Islands Council has warned the route is expected to be closed for several days.
In a statement, a spokeswoman said: “An assessment of the stability of the landslide and the immediate vicinity will take time and the road closure may be in place for several days.”
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