Severe weather could lead to travel disruption on South Western Railway route

High winds could lead to rail travel disruption later today (WEDS) and into tomorrow (THURS) on the South Western Railway route.

The Met Office has issued a ‘yellow’ warning, forecasting high winds and heavy rain, meaning travel disruption is possible.

Network Rail, working with its train operator, South Western Railway, has activated its weather contingency plans for some routes and is advising passengers to check before they travel by visiting www.nationalrail.co.uk

Network Rail’s weather contingencies include temporary speed restrictions to protect passengers and train crew from the effects of high winds, which can blow trees and other debris onto railway lines and overhead power lines.

With trains running at a reduced top speed (typically of around 50mph), drivers are better able to bring trains to a halt if anything is spotted ahead.

As well as speed restrictions, we are also running additional railhead cleaning trains to both confirm lines are clear and remove any tree debris.

People living near the railway can also help by securing garden furniture, equipment and trampolines, reducing the risk of them being blown onto the tracks or overhead power lines.

A spokesperson for Network Rail said:

“We are keeping a close eye on weather reports and are doing everything we can to prepare. This includes deploying additional teams across the South Western Railway network to remove debris quickly and safely if we need to, and to keep passengers moving.”

Routes subject to temporary speed restrictions are:

2200 Wednesday – 0200 Thursday

  • Salisbury – Whimple

2000 Wednesday – 0200 Thursday

  • Petersfield –Portsmouth Harbour
  • Eastleigh – Cosham
  • St Denys – Cosham
  • Southampton Airport P’way – Weymouth 
  • Romsey – Southampton Central

As a result, there will be changes to some services and passengers are advised to check before they travel. 

Other speed restrictions may be imposed as the situation develops.