UK rail storm damage ‘more severe than expected’

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Network Rail has described the damage caused by storm winds as “more severe than expected”.

More than 100 trees have been downed along Britain’s rail network creating disruption around the country.

East Midlands Trains has announced that there will be no services to and from London St Pancras & Bedford today because of damaged overhead line cables.

In a statement issued by Network Rail, Robin Gisby, Network Rail’s managing director of network operations, said: “Network Rail is dealing with this severe weather in exactly the way that we and the train operators planned over the weekend.

“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.[pullquote align=”right”]At the latest count we have had more than 100 trees down across the southern half of the country and we expect to find more as we complete our safety checks this morning.[/pullquote]

“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.

“South of London, we are hopeful that services will begin to resume from around 9am once we have been able to clear routes of trees and other obstructions. At the latest count we have had more than 100 trees down across the southern half of the country and we expect to find more as we complete our safety checks this morning. We are also experiencing some problems with signalling and other equipment as a result of the power cuts from outside the railway which are affecting some parts of the country.”

South West Trains is advising passengers not to travel as it continues to clear up one of the worst hit areas.

Services are gradually being restarted on some routes but others could remain closed until later this afternoon at the earliest.

East Coast Trains is also advising passengers to stay at home, confirming that tickets dated today will be valid for travel tomorrow (October 28).

 

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