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Major rail disruption across the south due to storm

The stormy weather across southern England and Wales has been causing havoc with rail services. Many services across the country are cancelled and there have been more than 100 fallen trees on lines.

Network Rail said the damage was “worse than expected” and Robin Gisby, managing director of network operations, said: “We have had several hundred staff on duty through the night and into the morning to monitor conditions and react to any damage or disruption caused by hurricane-force winds. Safety remains our top priority.

“While conditions were as forecast during the early part of the morning, the damage caused by the storm has been more severe than expected as it has tracked eastwards to the north of London and across to East Anglia. As a result, the West Coast, East Coast and Midland main lines are all currently blocked at their southern ends as a result of fallen trees and damage to power lines and all services are currently suspended on the Anglia route, where the storm is currently.”

It was expected that services could begin to resume from around 9am south of London, but the power cuts are also affecting signalling equipment in some parts of the network.

A spokesman for East Midlands Trains said: “Network Rail has advised that there are fallen trees on parts of our network, caused by the severe weather experienced in the south of England early this morning. As a result, no trains will be able to operate in or out of London St Pancras Station until after 12pm today.”

Many operators are advising people not to travel, and tickets are being accepted for tomorrow if they can postpone their journey.

South West Trains expected to have a reduced timetable from around 11am, with some services limited to 50mph. East Coast has no trains running south of Peterborough due to flooding in the tunnel at Potters Bar, and trees on the line at Barnet and Hertford.

First Great Western is running services on most routes, with delays and alterations, but services are unable to operate between Salisbury and Southampton, between Maidenhead and Bourne End or between Henley on Thames and Twyford

Virgin has announced that services to and from London Euston are suspended due to a tree blocking the line, while First Capital Connect and C2C services are suspended until further notice. Greater Anglia and Stansted Express have also said services will not run until after 12pm. 

London Overground has not run a service this morning before 9am while Southeastern said services might not start until 9 or 10am, and then with an amended timetable

Transport for London said there was disruption to six Underground lines due to debris from the storm on the tracks. The Bakerloo, Central, Jubilee, Metropolitan, Northern and Piccadilly lines were all partially closed.

Chiltern Railways has cancelled services.

TOCs and Network Rail are providing live updates via Twitter.

Across the country, 13 flood warnings have so far been issued by the Environment Agency, and power shortages are affecting 220,000 homes.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at [email protected]

Image copyright Network Rail via Twitter.


Jim Dedicoat   28/10/2013 at 19:33

Cannot help wondering how much less the problem could have been with all the trees/bushes cut back to the boundary fences as it always used to be. Look at the old photographs to see what it was always like. You could say it was only for fires from steam engines but was that the only reason?

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