Rail services on the Far North Line are returning to normal after a vehicle collided with a rail bridge near Tain.
Services between Inverness and Wick ground to a halt this morning as a Network Rail worker witnessed a vehicle collide into a railway bridge between Tain and Fearn.
The incident happened around 11.15am, forcing rail operators to close the rail line.
Inspectors were drafted to the scene to inspect the bridge and the track below.
Network Rail have now confirmed that “superficial” damage had been sustained to the parapet of the bridge, but inspectors stress the bridge is structurally safe.
NEW: Due to a road vehicle colliding with a bridge between Tain and Fearn all lines are closed. Our services between Inverness and Wick will be cancelled, delayed or revised. I'll update you all as soon as I can. ^Megan pic.twitter.com/0pz07bY1xI
— ScotRail (@ScotRail) November 12, 2021
A Network Rail spokesman said: “We understand that this has caused significant disruption to rail services and it will take a while for us to get things back to normal but the bridge has been inspected and is for traffic flow.”
The line has now reopened, with rail operators battling to minimise disruption across the network.
Disruption for Highland rail services
Scotrail have been forced to cancel and alter a number of scheduled services on the line to compensate for the closure.
The 2pm service from Inverness to Wick has been cancelled as a result of the earlier closure to the line.
Meanwhile, the 4pm service from Wick to Inverness will now depart from Helmsdale at 5.44pm, missing out nine stations along the route.
The service will no longer call at Wick, Georgemas Junction, Thurso, Scotscaler, Altnabreac, Forsinard, Kinbrace or Kildonan due to the disruption.
Amidst the closure, tickets were being accepted onboard Stagecoach North services in an effort to minimise disruption to passengers.
Commuters are being warned to expect disruption until around 4pm.