Network Rail has taken the unusual decision to cancel all trains operating between Aberdeen and Inverness tomorrow in anticipation of serious storms being predicted overnight.
Storm-force winds are expected to strike throughout the region overnight and into Friday morning and it is anticipated that these could cause significant damage.
As a result Network Rail has decided not to run any services on the line through Moray on Friday morning, with a decision being taken on if trains will resume on Friday afternoon.
The rail authority say that they will have hundreds of engineers on duty to react immediately to any problems identified with lines throughout Scotland, adding that the railway infrastructure could be damaged as severe winds may blow debris and trees onto tracks.
Network Rail route managing director for Scotland, David Dickson, said: “Safety has to be our first consideration during severe weather.
“We will be withdrawing a limited number of services until the worst of the storm has passed to allow our engineers to thoroughly inspect the network for any damage.
“We will be monitoring conditions on the ground closely throughout the night and into the morning and will have teams ready to respond to any issues caused by the storm.
“We are working closely with the train operators, and other industry partners, to reduce disruption as much as possible while also operating a safe network for passengers.”
Network Rail added that limited replacement buses are expected to be available and are urging passengers with dated tickets to travel anywhere on the Scotrail network on Friday to use these on services today or to postpone their journeys until Saturday or later.