Train passengers warned of disruption as Storm Alex hits Britain: Stock images of previous flooding from Storm Ciara February 2020

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 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 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.

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Passengers can plan their journeys by checking

Contact information

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

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