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Floods shut West Coast Main Line between Scotland and England

Sky News logo Sky News 10/08/2019

a path with trees on the side of a road: Water levels have been a foot above rails. Pic: Network Rail Scotland © Other Water levels have been a foot above rails. Pic: Network Rail Scotland The West Coast Main Line has been closed between Scotland and England because of flooding on the tracks.

Network Rail Scotland says five trains are currently trapped or blocked between Lockerbie and Carlisle - and in places, water levels are a foot above the rails.

In a series of tweets, the group said the flooding was caused by water from an adjacent field running onto tracks.

@NetworkrailSCOT said: "@VirginTrains trains & staff on the ground are advising alternative travel options & ticket acceptance is in place with other operators

"Inspection has shown that flood water on south bound line is not as bad as on north bound line. We are able to open line for south bound traffic only - all be it with a 5 mph speed limit. North bound trains will head back to #Carlisle."

a path with trees on the side of a road: The water came off neighbouring fields. Pic: Networkrailscot/Twitter © Other The water came off neighbouring fields. Pic: Networkrailscot/Twitter

It came as wet and windy conditions caused widespread disruption to the transport network as almost the whole UK languishes under a yellow weather warning.

Forecasters have predicted winds of over 60mph could hit the coasts of Bristol Channel, the English Channel and through the Strait of Dover.

The Met Office has yellow thunderstorm warnings in place for Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland, with forecasters predicting heavy showers and thunderstorms developing through Saturday and continuing into Sunday.

water next to the ocean: Southbound trains are continuing to run with a 5mph speed limit. Pic: Networkrailscot/Twitter © Getty Southbound trains are continuing to run with a 5mph speed limit. Pic: Networkrailscot/Twitter

Meanwhile, in southwestern England, Wales, the Midlands, southeastern and eastern England, it warned of disruption due to wind and asked people to be wary of sea fronts where large waves are expected, driving high sided vehicles and the risk of power loss.

Already, rail services have been delayed or cancelled after a tree fell on the line between Ashford International and Hastings, although the obstruction has since been cleared.

Fallen trees have also affected services between Guildford and Reading, Ipswich and Lowestoft, Newbury in Berkshire and Westbury in Wiltshire, and between Hereford and Worcester Foregate Street.

Network Rail urged passengers to check for updates before they travel.

In Brighton, a child was taken into police protection after being found under the Pier during high winds on Saturday.

In the south coast city, where gusts of up to 47mph are still being reported, the youngster is reported to have been found on the beach in the early hours of the morning.

A Sussex Police statement said: "Two adults have been arrested on suspicion of child neglect and remain in custody at this stage.

a group of people walking up a hill: People observe winds during high winds on Chesil Beach, Dorset © PA People observe winds during high winds on Chesil Beach, Dorset

"The investigation is ongoing, and for this reason we would urge members of the public not to speculate around the circumstances."

A Met Office statement on the thunderstorms in the north said: "While many areas will miss the worst of these thundery showers, a few spots could see 15-25mm (0.6-1 ins) within an hour and 30-40mm (1.2-1.6ins) within three hours.

"It is possible that some of these may become slow-moving and prolonged - most likely across parts of southern Scotland, leading to the potential for 60-80mm (2.4-3.2ins) of rain in six-12 hours."

Warnings of high winds causing the potential for power failures come after thousands of people had their journeys interrupted as a result of a major power cut on Friday evening.

Forecasters warned: "Unseasonably strong southwesterly winds are expected to cause some disruption, with gusts over 40mph quite widely inland.

"Gusts over 50mph are possible across parts of central and south-eastern England, particularly in association with showers.

a close up of a map: Almost the entire UK is set to be hit by unseasonable weather today. Pic: Met Office © Other Almost the entire UK is set to be hit by unseasonable weather today. Pic: Met Office

"Gusts in excess of 60mph are likely around coasts of Bristol Channel, English Channel and through the Strait of Dover."

Thousands of people have been left disappointed after the severe weather has cancelled and disrupted weekend events from festivals, shows and smaller events.

Organisers of Bristol's International Balloon Fiesta scaled back the event, cancelling Friday's much-anticipated mass ascent.

A woman shields herself from large waves and high winds at Dawlish © Getty A woman shields herself from large waves and high winds at Dawlish

Several weekend LGBT+ pride events, including in Chester, Milton Keynes and Plymouth, were postponed over safety concerns. Organisers for all three said they were working to rearrange the events.

The first day of Blackpool Air Show, on Saturday, was cancelled when afternoon winds of 45mph were forecast, and nearby St Anne's International Kite Festival was also cancelled.

The London Wildlife Festival, scheduled on Saturday and Sunday at Walthamstow Wetlands, was cancelled after winds of 40mph were forecast. Organisers said they were unable to "proceed safely" but promised refunds on tickets.

a couple of people that are standing in the snow: People look out to sea as waves crash against Chesil beach in Dorset © PA People look out to sea as waves crash against Chesil beach in Dorset

The weather is expected to improve on Sunday, with the wind warning lifting. However, the thunderstorm warning for Scotland, Northern Ireland and parts of northern England is still in place.

It comes as heavy downpours swept across much of the UK on Friday.

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