A train operator has “strongly” urged its customers not to travel on services to and from Edinburgh before mid-afternoon, as Storm Pia is expected to cause significant disruption.
Issuing “do not travel” advice, TransPennine Express (TPE) asked customers to delay their journeys in and out of the Scottish capital until after 3pm, as parts of the UK brace for high winds.
A yellow weather warning for wind came into effect at midnight and will last until 9pm, with forecasted gusts of 70mph to 80mph in northern Scotland – 65mph to 70mph on high ground – and 45mph to 55mph elsewhere in the country.
The warning also covers Belfast, Newcastle upon Tyne and Manchester.
Schools in Shetland will be closed on Thursday and more electricity network engineers are being brought in to deal with any power cuts.
Ferry services across the west coast of Scotland are expected to be disrupted, CalMac said.
TPE said there will be speed restrictions in place from the early hours for trains running to and from Edinburgh and that it will not run services between the city and north-west England until Thursday afternoon.
Kathryn O’Brien, customer experience and operations director for TPE, said: “Our number one priority is to keep our customers and colleagues safe, and we will be doing all we can to keep people moving in difficult conditions.
“We are urging anyone travelling across the affected routes to plan ahead, allow extra time, check their journey up until the last minute, and follow the guidance provided.”
Elsewhere on the trains, Network Rail said many services will only run once safety inspections have taken place, leading to some cancellations.
The West Highland line, Kyle of Lochalsh line, and the Far North line, along with Inverness-Inverurie services, will all be subject to inspections before trains can run, and speed restrictions will also be in place in the central belt and the south of Scotland.
Travellers have been warned of “short notice changes to journeys” on ScotRail services and are advised to check ahead, while additional engineers will be deployed to deal with any incidents.