Network Rail’s weather contingencies include the introduction of 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.
People living near the railway can help by ensuring garden furniture, equipment and trampolines are secure and not at risk of being blown onto the tracks or overhead power lines.
Subject to change, temporary speed restrictions are planned to be in place this weekend on several routes, including:
Between London and Brighton, plus Sussex coastal routes
Kent coastal routes, including between Faversham, Ramsgate, Dover and Ashford
Hampshire coastal routes, including from Petersfield to Portsmouth and Weymouth
The majority of routes in Wales
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 storm develops.
Network Rail is also monitoring the sea wall through Devon with ‘spray watch’ in place to ensure trains are safe to pass along the sea front.
A spokesperson for Network Rail said: “We are keeping a close eye on Storm Brian and are doing everything we can to prepare for severe weather. We are deploying additional teams across the railway network to remove debris quickly and safely if we need to, and to keep passengers moving.”