Rail network update: midday, Christmas Eve

Published on : Wednesday, December 25, 2013

displaymedia-13-300x227The majority of the rail network, including many main lines, is now open and train operators have begun services.

However there are still parts of the network that remain affected by flooding, debris, and external power supply issues – particularly for passengers travelling to the West Country – and we advise people to continue to check before they travel. In addition, we are now preparing for more bad weather that will affect the north of the country.

Robin Gisby, managing director of network operations at Network Rail said: “Passengers can be reassured that we will do all we can get them home for Christmas with major routes currently open and services running. We are very grateful for their tolerance and understanding in these difficult times.

“With more 200 trees brought down over the past 24hrs and a further 100 major incidents discovered on top of that, our engineers have been out all night and all this morning clearing tracks, making sure everything is safe, before restarting services.
“The damage, in some parts, has been worse than the St Jude’s storm of a few weeks ago, especially as we had rain as well as the wind. Our priority is to get as many trains running safely as we can to get people to their destinations. The timetable and punctuality will suffer but we believe this is the right call.
“Our attention will now turn to our extensive programme of engineering work over the holiday period. We will be assessing the extent to which this latest storm has put any of our deadlines at risk and together with the train operators we will be advising passengers accordingly.”
A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group, which speaks on behalf of the rail industry, said: “We apologise to passengers whose journeys to join family and friends over the festive period have been affected by the bad weather yesterday and today.

“Strong winds have damaged overhead wires and brought down hundreds of trees onto lines, and some parts of the network have been flooded overnight. Rail staff have been working round the clock to clear tracks but many services have started later than planned to ensure repairs can be completed and blockages removed so that trains can run safely. As the stormy weather subsides, a growing number of train companies are running services although delays will be likely on many routes.

“We will continue to keep passengers up to date with information and advice. Many operators have lifted ticket restrictions, and the industry’s key focus will be to get people where they need to be for Christmas. Anyone planning to travel should still check the National Rail Enquiries website or speak to their train company for the latest information.”

Source:- Network Rail

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