Wednesday 22 Feb 2017
Rail passengers advised to check before travelling on Thursday as Storm Doris hits South East
- South East
Passengers are advised to check before travelling on Thursday as gale force winds from Storm Doris have prompted Network Rail to put speed restrictions in place in the South East of England. As a result, there will be changes to some Southern, Southeastern and Gatwick Express services.
Speed restrictions are used to keep passengers and staff safe during high winds, as trees and other objects can get blown onto the tracks. With trains running at a reduced top speed of 50mph, drivers are better able to bring trains to a halt if anything is spotted ahead.
Andy Derbyshire, chief operating officer, Network Rail South East route, said: “Gale force winds are forecast on Thursday, so we’re putting a 50mph speed limit in place when winds are strongest to limit the risk to passengers and staff should trees or other objects get blown onto the tracks.
“This is part of our standard planning for stormy weather, but it will mean changes to journeys for some passengers. Your safety is our top priority, so thank you for your understanding and please check before you travel.”
A Southern spokesperson said: "These speed restrictions will mean that we won't be able to run our full service on some of our routes, leading to cancellations and delays. Our advice is to check before you travel for the latest information about your train."
Ellie Burrows, Train Services Director at Southeastern, said: “Some of our services tomorrow will be affected by the speed restrictions put in place by Network Rail as a safety measure due to the forecast bad weather. At present, restrictions will apply from 10am - 5pm on coastal routes from Ashford - Ramsgate and Hastings – Battle; and midday - 5pm on all other routes. We will continue to work with Network Rail to monitor the necessity of these important safety measures, but we advise all passengers to check before they travel and to allow more time for their journeys.”
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.
Every day, there are more than 4.7 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.
We are building a better railway for a better Britain.