Tuesday 9 Feb 2021
Freezing weather means some railway lines in Kent will stay closed today (Tuesday) – please check before you travel
More lines have opened to trains in Kent and South East London today after two days of snowy weather limited services in the county.
However, freezing weather and snow does mean that some lines will have to remain without trains today as Network Rail concentrates its treatment trains on the busiest lines.
The following routes will not be served by trains:
- Medway Valley line between Strood and Paddock Wood
- Sheppey Branch between Sittingbourne and Sheerness-on-Sea
- Bromley North branch between Grove Park and Bromley North.
Network Rail’s route director for Kent, Fiona Taylor said: “We’ve not reached this decision lightly but we’re faced with really difficult freezing conditions tomorrow and in fact for most of the week.
“The live rail that powers trains can get iced up by snow and freezing rain, which means trains cannot draw power and stall. We’re running a full programme of anti-ice trains today and all week but the nature of the weather today means we’ll need to treat double the amount we normally do and the only way we can achieve that is by concentrating on the main lines.
“In addition, the number of trains on those routes means the live rail will have less time to freeze between services so this is the best way to guarantee a reliable service for our essential workers.
“Thank you so much for your patience and I’m so sorry we’ve had to take this decision. We are reviewing our plans every day and will keep everyone informed.”
Southeastern's Train Services Director Scott Brightwell said: “We’re grateful to our passengers who may have needed to travel but who have taken the opportunity to work from home or not to travel at all in the past few days during the worst of this cold spell. While government advice remains not to travel unless it’s essential, we are now able to run more trains on more routes, except some branch lines.
"We want to thank everyone for their patience and their co-operation.”
For more on Network Rail’s snow and ice treatment trains in Kent – this video is a great guide:
Notes to Editors
For more on how Network Rail Southern region keeps trains running during snow and ice, visit www.networkrail.co.uk
Passengers / community members
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03457 11 41 41
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About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.