Network Rail and train operators in Hertfordshire are urging passengers to check before they travel and allow more time for their journeys this weekend, as heavy rain and strong winds are forecast on Saturday, 15 and Sunday, 16 February.

Heavy rainfall could lead to flash flooding in some areas, which could lead to localised service disruption. Network Rail is taking measures to keep services running where possible, and extra teams will be out over the weekend. In areas where severe flooding occurs, engineers will need to carry out safety inspections, test the signalling equipment and repair any damage.

Strong winds of up to 60mph are also forecast this weekend. This can lead to potential obstructions on the tracks, such as debris or fallen trees. People who live near the railway are urged to clear away garden furniture and trampolines, which will help to prevent items blowing onto the railway. Wind can also cause damage to overhead line equipment, which is used to power trains. To prevent such damage electric trains run slower during very high winds.

Passengers travelling to or from London on the East Coast Main Line are reminded that there are fewer than normal trains running as work continues on the £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade. Speed restrictions for the high winds are likely to mean disruption to these services.

Passengers are strongly advised to check via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator before travelling and allow more time for their journeys.

Paul Rutter, Route Director for Network Rail’s East Coast Route, said: “I would like to reassure passengers in Hertfordshire that we will have extra teams on hand this weekend to keep services moving.

“We are working closely with train operators to minimise any impact which Storm Dennis has as it has the potential to bring some localised flooding and disruption to services.

“We strongly advise passengers to allow plenty of time for their journeys, as they may take longer than usual. People should also check via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator before travelling.”