Do not travel warning to rail travellers as Storm Eunice set to sweep through East Anglia

Friday, 18 February 2022

Storm Eunice update

People are advised not to travel as the weather warnings across the Greater Anglia network have been upgraded to red.

Trains will not be running on two of Greater Anglia’s lines on Friday 18 February to ensure passenger safety.

Network Rail is shutting the Ipswich to Lowestoft and Marks Tey to Sudbury lines because of the risk of falling trees.

Due to the rural locations of both lines, it can take a long time for Network Rail staff to reach affected locations and rescue stranded passengers – so the organisation consider it safer to shut the line altogether to keep passengers safe.

Rail passengers are being advised not to travel unless their journey is absolutely essential, as Storm Eunice is forecast to sweep through East Anglia with gale-force winds.

Greater Anglia is reducing its train service on Friday 18 February, as Network Rail is imposing speed restrictions across the network because of the impacts of the storm, which will also lead to longer journey times.

Further disruption may be caused by trees or other objects being blown onto tracks and overhead lines or other damage caused by the storm – which could lead to short notice cancellations or delays.

Planned services for Friday 18 February 2022

Some services will not be running as train frequency is due to be reduced on many routes. The planned service frequency will be as follows:

No service

  • Ipswich to Lowestoft
  • Marks Tey to Sudbury

Half hourly train service

  • Southend Victoria to London Liverpool Street
  • Stansted Airport to London
  • Hertford East to Liverpool Street
  • Cambridge to London Liverpool Street
  • Bishops Stortford to Stratford

Hourly train service

  • Norwich to London Liverpool Street Intercity service
  • Ipswich, Colchester, Chelmsford to London Liverpool Street
  • Meridian Water to Stratford
  • Southminster to Wickford
  • Harwich to Manningtree
  • Walton-on-the-Naze to Thorpe-le-Soken
  • Clacton-on-Sea to Colchester
  • Witham to Braintree
  • Norwich to Great Yarmouth
  • Norwich to Lowestoft
  • Norwich to Stansted Airport will terminate at Cambridge.

Two hourly train service (once every two hours)

  • Norwich to Sheringham
  • Ipswich to Cambridge
  • Ipswich to Felixstowe
  • Ipswich to Peterborough

Greater Anglia will try to contact any customers who have booked passenger assistance on affected services. They can also call Greater Anglia to check or rearrange their journey by calling 0800 028 2878 (free from a landline), text type 18001 0800 028 2878 or call from a mobile phone on 0345 6007245.

Customers who have booked tickets for travel on Friday 18 February can use them on another day. Customers can choose to rearrange their travel plans free of charge, which can be done where they bought their tickets.

In the event of any additional service disruption Greater Anglia will do its best to provide a rail replacement bus service but it is likely to be limited and subject to disruption on the roads due to storm damage.

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director said: “We are very sorry to inconvenience customers, but we want to make sure that we run a safe and reliable service in the extreme conditions that have been forecast.

“High winds can cause damage to overhead lines and tracks caused by debris or fallen trees, which it may not be safe to fix immediately until wind levels have dropped.

“There is also a danger of flooding on some of our lines, which could lead to landslips or tracks becoming unstable.

“Please do not travel. If your journey is absolutely essential you should check before you travel, expect longer journey times and be aware that there may be short notice cancellations due to trees blocking the line or objects blown onto overhead wires preventing trains from running.”

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “We will be doing everything we can to keep as many services as possible running safely and reliably, but with such strong winds expected we know that disruption to passengers’ journeys is inevitable.

“We ask passengers to please consider whether your journey is necessary and if you need to travel please be aware that there may be changes and cancellations at short notice.”

Can I travel on a different day?

If you have booked tickets for travel on Friday 18 February 2022 you can use them on another day. You can choose to rearrange your travel plans free of charge, which can be done via the retail point you originally purchased your tickets from.

If you would like a refund

If you’ve bought a ticket for Friday 18th 2022 but choose not to travel and you would like a refund (rather than rearranging your journey for another day), you can obtain a full refund, with no administration fee charged, by returning it to the train operator or retailer from whom you purchased it.