Latest Rail News

13.02.14

Engineers ‘out in force’ to deal with storm damage

Last night’s hurricane-force winds and the ongoing flooding crisis are continuing to cause chaos on the rail network.

Rail engineers were out in force overnight clearing the lines of fallen trees and repairing overhead line equipment.

The West Coast Main Line had to be closed north of Preston last night because of the storms, though it is now open again. There was also overhead line damage on the East Coast Main Line north of York, with an 80mph speed restriction north of Newcastle. The spur from Doncaster to Leeds is reopening this morning.

Network Rail said some rural Welsh routes (Blaenau Ffestiniog, Fishguard and Aberystwyth) remain shut as engineers work to clear scores of downed trees.

These headlines from National Rail Enquiries give an idea of the scale of the problems this morning:

•           Disruption between Oxford and Didcot Parkway until further notice         

•           Disruption in north western England until further notice

•           Disruption in north eastern England until further notice

•           Poor weather conditions causing disruption in Wales until further notice    

•           Disruption in the Oxted area until at least Monday 17 February

•           Disruption between Eastleigh and Fareham until further notice       

•           Major disruption between London Paddington and Reading until further notice

•           Disruption between Taunton and Plymouth / Penzance until further notice 

•           Disruption between Bridgwater and Taunton until further notice    

•           Disruption between Staines and Windsor & Eton Riverside until further notice     

•           Disruption between Tonbridge and Hastings until further notice     

•           Buses replace trains between Barmouth and Pwllheli until further notice

Crewe station had to be evacuated last night when roof panels were blown onto overhead lines, causing a small fire to break out.

Yesterday evening Virgin Trains tweeted, in all capital letters, “New: all customers to abandon travel #ukstorm”. The ominous message was retweeted more than 2,200 times. The operator has told passengers to expect disruption across its network today, with Liverpool Lime Street to Crewe trains cancelled until at least 10am.

The flooding in the south-west and in the Thames Valley is causing major disruption to the First Great Western network too. It said this morning: “We strongly advise customers not to travel unless it is absolutely necessary and to consider alternative routes.”

(Image shows the continuing flooding at Datchet in Berkshire: Network Rail)

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