Network Rail is encouraging passengers in the North and Midlands to check before they travel as Storm Babet brings severe weather.
Teams are preparing the railway network to keep passengers moving as smoothly as possible over the coming days as heavy rain and gusts of up to 60mph are forecast.
Network Rail teams have been working around the clock to try and reduce the impact of severe weather which is expected to be brought by Storm Babet.
This includes proactively working to remove vegetation which may have been at risk of causing disruption to the railway by failing onto overhead lines or tracks.
Extra colleagues will be on hand across the network to help deal with any weather-related incidents more quickly, and engineers have been monitoring known flooding hotspots to try and alleviate the risk of the heavy rain creating floods on the line.
All of this has been done to help keep passengers moving safely and minimise disruption.
No speed restrictions are currently in place ahead of the adverse weather, but Network Rail teams will continue to monitor the weather in real-time throughout the weekend.
Network Rail is urging those who live near the railway to take steps to prevent damage to railway equipment by tying down any objects that could get onto the tracks.
Phil James, Network Rail’s North West route director, said: “While our extreme weather action teams have been preparing for this bad weather for several days, it’s really difficult to know exactly when and where it will strike, which is why we’re asking people to check before they travel.
“Also if you live by the railway please tie down any loose garden items – it’s amazing what can be carried by a strong gust of wind and end up on the tracks – causing unnecessary delays for passengers and freight.”
Matt Rice, route director for Network Rail’s North & East route, commented: “Our teams will be working extremely hard to keep passengers safely and smoothly on the move throughout this period of adverse weather.
“We are well prepared and have taken proactive steps to solve problems before they arise by removing vegetation which could cause disruption and monitoring areas where we have previously seen flooding.
Gary Walsh, route director for Network Rail’s East Midlands route, added: “While the East Midlands may not receive the brunt of the storm, we have taken steps to make sure we are well prepared for the bad weather, including monitoring areas where we have previously seen flooding.
Ahead of travelling, Network Rail is encouraging all passengers to check their journey, either via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator.
Image credit: Network Rail