Thousands remain without power but rail services resume after Storm Jocelyn

Rail lines are beginning to reopen after Storm Jocelyn swept in, bringing travel disruption and leaving thousands without power.

An amber weather warning was in place in parts of Scotland at the height of the storm while a yellow wind warning for much of the northern half of the UK has been extended until 3pm on Wednesday.

ScotRail suspended its services at 7pm on Tuesday and through the Wednesday morning rush hour as the storm battered the country.

Routes began to reopen from around lunchtime following safety checks, though ScotRail warned it will take time for the situation to return to normal.

In a post on X, ScotRail said: “As lines begin to reopen, following major disruption, our Integrated Control team will work to restore the timetable on each route in a controlled manner, to prevent further disruption.

Winter weather Jan 24th 2024
Glasgow Queen Street station was empty on Wednesday morning as trains were suspended during the storm (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“This is why it can take some time for services to return to normal. Please bear with us.”

Avanti West Coast services have also resumed after the company told passengers not to attempt to travel north of Preston until at least noon on Wednesday.

The storm has left thousands of people in Scotland without power.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Distribution said that as of 11.45am on Wednesday, its teams had successfully restored supplies to nearly 4,500 customers.

(PA Graphics)

A spokesperson said: “We are working hard to reconnect the remaining 2,000 homes as quickly and safely as possible. We expect them to have their supplies restored by the end of today.”

In southern Scotland, SP Energy Networks said its engineers are working to restore power to around 7,000 customers across Dumfries and Galloway following network damage caused by Storm Jocelyn.

A spokesperson said: “This includes damage to a transmission line and we’re working with National Grid ESO to restore supplies as soon as possible.

“Safety remains our number one priority and we are using every available resource to get everyone back on supply at the earliest opportunity.”

Storm Jocelyn, the 10th named storm of the season, hit two days after Storm Isha claimed two lives.

The Met Office said wind gusts from Jocelyn reached 97mph in Capel Curig in Snowdonia, 79mph in Aberdaron, Wales, 77mph at Shap, Cumbria, and 74mph at the South Uist Range in the Western Isles.

Network Rail Scotland teams have been carrying out safety checks on railway lines, including by helicopter, to allow services to resume.

(PA Graphics)

It said it had dealt with incidents including flooding, a large trampoline on the line, fallen trees and a shed roof blowing on to a high wall above a track.

In the Highlands, 26 schools were closed or opened late due to the weather, while 18 schools in Dumfries and Galloway were shut due to power or heating failures.

Ferry services were also disrupted with some CalMac services cancelled.

NorthLink Ferries said morning sailings between Stromness in Orkney and Scrabster on the mainland were cancelled.

The 4.45pm sailing from Stromness to Scrabster and the 7pm return sailing remain under review.

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Waves crash at New Brighton beach, Wirral, as Storm Jocelyn swept across the country (Peter Byrne/PA)

On the roads, the Queen Elizabeth II bridge at the Dartford Crossing, M48 Severn Bridge and the A66 in County Durham and Cumbria were closed due to high winds, with the Humber Bridge, A19 Tees flyover and the Woodhead Pass in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire closed to high-sided vehicles.

In Scotland, the A76 was closed in both directions between Skelmorlie and Largs in North Ayrshire due to water breaking over the sea wall though it later reopened, while fallen trees had to be cleared from many routes.

Elsewhere, a search for a woman reported to be in the sea at Porthcawl, south Wales, is continuing.

Emergency services including HM Coastguard, the RNLI and the National Police Air Service (NPAS) have been involved in the search which was launched at around 6pm on Tuesday.

Plane taking off in wind
A Ryanair plane takes off from Leeds Bradford airport during high winds caused by Storm Jocelyn (Danny Lawson/PA)

Parts of York have been affected by flooding and the Environment Agency said river flooding is probable in parts of the north of England on Wednesday.

Flooding is also possible along parts of the upper River Severn in Shropshire until Friday.

There were 25 flood warnings in force in Scotland and 19 in England at 12.30pm on Wednesday.

Forecasters expect winds to gradually ease from the south as Storm Jocelyn moves away from the UK on Wednesday.

Cloud and outbreaks of rain will move north east on Thursday with brighter conditions on Friday and Saturday, but frequent showers in the north.

Tributes have been paid to James “Jimmy” Johnstone, 84, who died after the car he was in hit a fallen tree in Grangemouth during Storm Isha late on Sunday evening.

Also on Sunday evening, a man in his 60s was killed in a crash involving two vans and a fallen tree in Limavady, Co Londonderry.

In Scotland, fewer than 100 homes are without power after Storm Jocelyn, according to Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution which said it has reconnected 7,000 homes.

The north of Scotland endured several hours of gale-force winds overnight, with a gust of 74mph recorded in South Uist, Outer Hebrides, at around 10pm on Tuesday night.

Andy Smith, operations director at SSEN Distribution, said: “Our network held up well overnight, despite Jocelyn’s severe, sustained winds.

“Tonight, we’re pushing on with reconnecting the final few remaining customers still off supply. We’re on track to do so this evening. I would also like to thank our teams for their tireless work reconnecting homes across the north of Scotland.”