Essential journeys only warning to rail travellers as Storm Franklin sweeps through East Anglia

Published on: Sunday, 20 February 2022
Last updated: Sunday, 20 February 2022

Rail passengers are being advised to only travel if their journey is absolutely essential on Monday morning as Greater Anglia will be running a very reduced service which could be disrupted at short notice as another storm is sweeping across East Anglia.

Just like on Friday last week - when Storm Eunice brought severe disruption to the railway network so that all trains were cancelled for most of the day and evening – Network Rail has imposed a 50mph speed limit to try to keep the railway running safely.

As a result there will be far fewer trains running and journey times will be longer – and if trees come down or debris lands in the overhead wires then journeys could be disrupted severely for many hours.

Planned services on Monday 21 February 2022

The plan – if trains run without further disruption from falling trees and debris on the line - is as follows:

Half-hourly between:

  • Southend Victoria and London Liverpool Street
  • Cambridge and London Liverpool Street
  • Stansted Airport and London Liverpool Street
  • Hertford East and London Liverpool Street

Hourly between:

  • Norwich and Colchester - the intercity service will only operate between Norwich and Colchester, connecting at Colchester with other services to/from London Liverpool Street
  • Ipswich and London Liverpool Street
  • Colchester Town/Colchester and London Liverpool Street
  • Clacton and Colchester
  • Walton-on-the-Naze and Thorpe-le-Soken
  • Harwich and Manningtree
  • Marks Tey and Sudbury (if line reopens following Storm Eunice)
  • Braintree and Witham
  • Southminster and Wickford (if line reopens following Storm Eunice)
  • Norwich and Cambridge – but not to/from Stansted Airport, passengers will need to travel via Bishops Stortford
  • Norwich and Great Yarmouth
  • Norwich and Lowestoft

Two hourly (one train every two hours) between:

  • Ipswich and Cambridge
  • Ipswich and Felixstowe
  • Ipswich and Lowestoft
  • Ipswich and Peterborough
  • Norwich and Sheringham

Further details will be available on the Greater Anglia website when they have been finalised.

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 Monday 21 February can use them on another day. Customers can also choose to rearrange their date of travel or apply for a refund free of charge, which can be done where they bought their tickets. Learn more about changing Advance, Anytime, Off-Peak and Super Off-peak tickets.

For refunds on tickets bought through our website and app, please log in to your account and if you checked out as a guest, contact our Web Support Team on 0345 600 7245 (option 6). Lines are open Monday to Sunday from 08:00 - 17:00.

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 again, just three days after Storm Eunice which caused such terrible disruption across our network due to the ferocity of the winds.

“We really would urge people to only travel if your journey is absolutely essential, as we saw on Friday that journeys can be severely delayed if trees block the tracks and overhead wires get tangled or obstructed.

“We don’t issue a message discouraging people from travelling lightly.

“We will do our utmost to keep our reduced service running and to keep passengers up to date with any developments throughout the day.

“Please remember that you can change your ticket, travel on another day or apply for a refund free of charge.”

A Network Rail spokesperson said: "Our focus is to keep passengers and staff safe during storm Franklin.

“We're putting in place a 50mph speed restriction across the network tomorrow as it reduces the potential of damage to overhead wires and other infrastructure during the storm.

“We'll also have response teams ready at key locations to clear debris or vegetation that gets into the line.

“Working closely with Greater Anglia we will aim to keep as many trains running as possible but encourage you to check before you travel before setting out."