Friday 2 Oct 2020
Train passengers warned of disruption as Storm Alex hits Britain
- Region & Route:
- North West & Central
- Safety speed limits will be imposed on trains between London Euston and Lancashire this weekend
- Passengers to expect journeys to take longer and urged to check before travelling
- Ensuring the safety of passengers and railway staff is the priority
Passengers travelling between London, the West Midlands and North West are being warned of slower-than-usual journeys and travel disruption as Storm Alex hits Britain this weekend.
To keep passengers and railway staff safe, speed restrictions for trains will be in place across Network Rail's North West & Central region.
The safety measures will impact trains on routes stretching from Blackpool to London, between 7pm on Saturday 3 October and 10am on Sunday 4 October.
This includes the West Coast main line, Chiltern main line, and railway in the West Midlands and North West.
Passengers are being advised to check before they travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk and with their train operators to see how their journeys could be affected.
Jake Kelly, Network Rail’s passenger director for the North West & Central region, said: “With wet and windy weather forecast this weekend, our plans and decisions are prioritising the safety of passengers and railway staff.
“Our teams have been planning for the likelihood of surface water flooding and that debris will be blown onto tracks and overhead electric wires. We have extra people on the ground at various locations across the region to deal with any disruption. I understand that speed limits may be frustrating, but they are a necessary safety precaution when such wild weather is expected.
“I thank passengers in advance for their patience and urge people to check before travelling at www.nationalrail.co.uk or with their train operator. Please also remember to follow government guidelines and wear a face covering when travelling unless you are exempt for medical reasons.”
Business owners and householders neighbouring the railway are also being reminded to secure anything in their gardens and yards which could be blown onto the tracks.
In previous storms trampolines and gazebos have ended up causing major disruption to passengers.
Jake added: “In strong winds trampolines become airborne very easily. Our advice is: Please tether these kinds of items. That way you won’t lose them and train passengers’ journeys won’t be disrupted.
“We’re appealing to people living and working by the railway to ensure other items, such as gazebos, marquees, empty builders’ sacks, tents and the like are fixed in place, so they don’t end up on the tracks during high winds.”
Meanwhile, passengers are asked to continue following Government guidance around the use of public transport.
Travellers must wear a face covering on train services and any replacement bus services. Those who fail to do so risk being fined £200.
However, some people are exempt, including young children and people with hidden disabilities or breathing difficulties.
For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers
Passengers can plan their journeys by checking www.nationalrail.co.uk.
Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41
Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries
Network Rail press office - North West & Central Region
0330 854 0100
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.