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'Major disruption' as 'defect' closes railway linking two Scottish cities

ScotRail has warned customers to expect disruption on journeys on the east coast <i>(Image: PA)</i>
ScotRail has warned customers to expect disruption on journeys on the east coast (Image: PA)

A KEY Scottish rail route between two of the country’s largest cities has been closed.

The Aberdeen to Dundee link was shut on Tuesday after reports of a “track defect” between Laurencekirk and Stonehaven.

Network Rail, which manages the railway network, warned of disruption while its engineers investigated.

ScotRail said that several of its services would be affected by the issue, warning of "major disruption".

Network Rail Scotland said in a statement: “We're dealing with a report of a track defect near Stonehaven.

“The Aberdeen-Dundee line has been closed while our engineers investigate the report. We'll share more details ASAP.”

And ScotRail wrote on social media: “Due to a report of a track defect near Stonehaven, the Aberdeen – Dundee line has been closed while investigations take place.”

ScotRail further said that trains from Edinburgh to Aberdeen would be cancelled, delayed or terminated at and started back from Dundee.

Trains from Glasgow Queen Street to Aberdeen are to be cancelled, delayed or terminated at and started back from Perth.

And trains from Inverurie to Montrose are to be cancelled, delayed or terminated at and started back from Aberdeen.

READ MORE: Railway worker blames Network Rail for 'slowing down' Scotland's trains

ScotRail’s website said the disruption is expected to last until around 15:00 on November 14.

The reported defect is near the site of the derailment on August 12, 2020 which claimed the lives of train driver Brett McCullough, 45, conductor Donald Dinnie, 58, and passenger Christopher Stuchbury, 62.

A criminal prosecution in October saw Network Rail fined £6.7 million after it admitted health and safety failings over the rail crash, which happened on a day of torrential rainfall.