RAIL bosses have been warned that “urgent action” is needed to protect a railway line to and from Dumbarton from the increasing threat of floods.

Green MSP Ross Greer said that according to research by Climate Central, if global temperature increases continue on their current trajectory, long sections of the line to the west of Dalreoch station can expect to be under water at least once a year by 2050.

Mr Greer says that even with “deep and rapid cuts” to emissions, a number of sections of the line linking Dumbarton with Helensburgh and the west Highlands will still be below the flood line.

The West Scotland MSP said: “The grim reality is that whilst catastrophic climate breakdown can still be prevented, many of its effects are already locked in.

“Last month I met COP26 delegates from across the world who explained the devastating effects of a changing climate already being felt by their communities. This is a crisis Scotland is certainly not immune from.

“As well as continuing to speed up our emissions reductions, we need to adapt to and mitigate against the effects of climate breakdown which are now inevitable.

“Part of that can be seen on the shore of the Clyde, where even with urgent global action to cut emissions, there are sections of the rail line that will be frequently flooded within a generation.

“Rail travel is a key part of our effort to cut emissions and I’m pleased to see it getting more support with the Greens having joined the Scottish Government. But without clear action to protect the network, we’ll be seriously hampered.”

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We are investing heavily in Scotland’s railway to improve the condition of earthworks, bridges and other structures and to manage the impact of the changing climate.

“Between 2014 and 2019, more than £120 million was invested in earthworks, drainage and bridge strengthening projects around Scotland. In the five years between 2019 and 2024 a further £149m will be spent.

“That includes around £20m specifically aimed at the impact of river and sea water on our infrastructure.

“We also recently commissioned a specialist expert-led report into the impact of climate change on our railway.”