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
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.