Passengers urged to check before travelling as Storm Ciarán brings high winds and heavy rain to the south west: Passenger at departure board

Wednesday 1 Nov 2023

Passengers urged to check before travelling as Storm Ciarán brings high winds and heavy rain to the south west

Region & Route:
Wales & Western: Western
| Wales & Western

Network Rail is urging passengers to check before travelling on Wednesday 1 November and Thursday 2 November as Storm Ciarán sweeps across the south west, with Devon and Cornwall likely to see wind speeds of over 70mph in exposed areas from 9pm tonight and into Thursday.

Weather warnings have been issued for Network Rail’s Western route, which runs from Paddington to Penzance. The storm system follows last month’s Storm Babet, meaning the ground is already saturated and flooding may impact some areas.

Owing to the adverse weather conditions, passengers should allow extra time for their journeys as speed restrictions may be brought in on some lines to ensure the safe running of trains, and check with National Rail Enquiries before travelling as services may be disrupted.

People who live near the railway are being urged to keep garden objects such as trampolines, tarpaulins, and tents tied down and secured to ensure they don’t end up on the tracks as a result of very strong winds.

Marcus Jones, Network Rail’s Western route director, said: We’ve brought in additional teams and contractors to keep train services running safely during the high winds and heavy rain on Wednesday and Thursday. We’ll continue to work closely with Great Western Railway and CrossCountry to get passengers where they need to go, but please check your journey with National Rail Enquiries before travelling.

“If you live near the railway, please do remember that garden objects can end up on the tracks at any time if they’re not secured, but particularly when we see the strong winds that are predicted for the remainder of the week.”

Travel advice

Train operator GWR is advising passengers travelling today, tomorrow or Friday of the following:

  • Wednesday 1 November: High winds are expected to hit the south west coast from 9pm. Passengers are advised to travel earlier where possible. No trains will operate west of St Austell towards Penzance from approximately 8pm until midday Thursday 2 November. Owing to local road conditions, rail replacement bus services being provided for planned engineering work currently taking place in Cornwall will be cancelled between St Austell and Penzance, St Erth and St Ives during this time. Customers are advised not to travel in this area.
  • Thursday 2 November: Subject to localised flooding and fallen trees, services across some parts of the network could be cancelled or altered at short-notice; trains may be diverted with journey times likely to be significantly longer. Passengers are advised to check before they travel.
  • Friday 3 November: Some disruption is likely to continue on Friday morning as Network Rail work to clear any debris and GWR works toward reinstating services. Passengers are advised to check before travelling.  

National Rail Enquiries has a dedicated Storm Ciarán page where passengers can check all parts of their journey:

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Emily Maiden
Network Rail

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