Storm Ciara warning: rail passengers advised to check before they travel

Friday, 7 February 2020

Rail passengers are advised to check before they travel on Sunday 9 February and Monday 10 February, as Storm Ciara could lead to disruption on the Greater Anglia network.

Network Rail has asked Greater Anglia to run its trains at lower speeds on Sunday which means that fewer trains will be able to run and journeys will take longer. A revised timetable will be published on the Greater Anglia website.

This approach is intended to help ensure a more resilient service during the predicted bad weather and to help reduce the chances of extra damage to the overhead lines that would cause even greater disruption.

People who live near the railway are also asked to tie down or move inside garden furniture, trampolines and gazebos which could be blown onto the railway.

Wind speeds are forecast to start at 50mph during Sunday morning, reaching gusts of up to 70 mph during the afternoon and evening, which could blow trees and debris down onto tracks and even damage overhead lines.

In the worst case scenario, if overhead lines are damaged, Network Rail might have to wait until wind speeds subside to safer levels in order for engineers to work at height or with certain machinery to make repairs – which could be as late as Monday, potentially causing delays and cancellations to the morning commute.

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “We’re keeping a very close eye on weather forecasts and will keep customers updated with as much notice as possible if our train services are disrupted.

“Our priority is to run a safe service for our customers and staff.”

Regular updates will be made to the Greater Anglia website, Twitter, app and journey check website.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail Anglia’s route director said: “We’re working hard to get all our resources and people in place to deal with any potential damage that Storm Ciaira might bring. In the event of damage, while every effort will be made to get the network running, we need to make sure we don’t put anyone at risk. The safety of our staff and passengers is our absolute priority. If that means delaying repairs until the gusts have gone, I am certain that is the right thing to do.

“I know if this happens it will have a big impact on everyone’s start to the week, but that’s why we’re getting a message out now, so people can prepare if the worst happens. We will work with train operators to keep you all updated over the weekend as we know more.”