The rail line between Fort William and Mallaig is expected to reopen on Monday (January 29), once engineers have completed repairs to the damage caused by a 1,000tonne landslip near Glenfinnan.
Following extensive survey work to check the slope above the line at Loch Eilt for further instability, work has now begun to dig out the train derailed by the landslip on Monday morning.
Over the coming days our engineers will clear material away from the train, rerail the vehicle using specialist machinery and then complete work to clear the tracks.
Extra drainage will also be installed in the area and engineers will undertake further work to secure the slope above the line.
Trains between Glasgow Queen Street and Mallaig are terminating at/starting from Fort William while engineers work to clear the debris and repair any damage to the infrastructure beneath.
A replacement bus service is in operation between Fort William and Mallaig to keep passengers on the move.
David Dickson, ScotRail Alliance infrastructure director, said: “Our team has been on site since Monday assessing the damage and making plans to repair the line.
“Our engineers have carried out survey work on the slope, on foot and from the air, to identify any further unstable material.
“We now have plans in place to allow us to safely work at the bottom of the slope and have begun the recovery operation to remove the train and repair the track.
“The isolated location, and steepness of the slope above, make this a complex recovery operation, but we will reopen the railway as soon as possible for passengers.
“We are grateful to customers for their patience during the disruption and buses are running between Fort William and Mallaig to help keep people on the move.”
Customers affected by this issue can use ScotRail’s Delay Repay compensation scheme, which kicks in for services that are delayed for 30 minutes or longer. Full details on this can be found at scotrail.co.uk/delay-repay