Aberdeen to Inverness trains have resumed for the first time after being suspended on Friday during the peak of Storm Arwen – but it is to take longer to clear the line to Dundee.
Network Rail and ScotRail crews worked through the weekend to clear the line after several trees toppled and blocked the tracks.
Trains between Inverness and Wick are also running again after being pulled during the weather.
However, it is expected to be “early afternoon” on Monday before trains are back between Aberdeen and Dundee following the storm.
Why is it taking so long to get trains back?
Storm Arwen brought almost unprecedented winds of up to 90mph to Aberdeenshire and Moray on Friday evening and the early hours of Saturday.
Scottish and Southern Energy Networks (SSEN) estimated the damage wrought was three times the scale of the Beast from the East in 2018.
At its peak, 120,000 north-east homes were without power with 32,000 still without electricity on Sunday nigh amid predictions it could take “several days” to restore them.
For Dundee – Aberdeen, it is going to be early afternoon before the line is open but we’ll do all we can to get trains running again ASAP. We’ll be catching up with colleagues from our Control team at 05:00 – as soon as we have news, we’ll share it on this account. /2 pic.twitter.com/Tj4nVnelJw
— Network Rail Scotland (@NetworkRailSCOT) November 28, 2021
Deputy First Minister John Swinney warned the impact from the storm was far worse than first feared.
Passengers on one ScotRail train were stranded for 17 hours near Huntly after being trapped on the line by the storm on Friday – only boarding a replacement bus on Saturday morning.
The operator has shared pictures of trains that sustained considerable damage after hitting fallen trees elsewhere in Scotland to show the risks.
Teams from Network Rail have been working to clear blockages from lines across the country through the weekend.
How can I complete my journey to Dundee?
ScotRail is running replacement buses between Aberdeen and Dundee on Monday until trains are able to resume.
It is understood that for passengers with longer journeys on LNER services to London Kings Cross the buses are taking people to Edinburgh to allow them to connect onward services.
Train tickets are also being accepted on Stagecoach services between Dundee, Arbroath and Montrose as well as Citylink journeys between Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
ScotRail has encouraged anyone affected by the weekend’s disruption to claim a refund on their website.