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Rail companies urge customers to re-plan journeys as storms threaten major disruption

Rail companies are urging customers planning to travel on Friday to reconsider their plans after amber and yellow warnings were issued for Storm Eunice, with strong winds expected to affect much of the UK.

Journeys will take longer as blanket speed restrictions – 50mph in most places – will be imposed for safety reasons on the main rail lines across the country, with winds set to reach as high as 90mph in some areas. High winds can lead to trees and debris being blown onto train lines which block trains and can cause delays and cancellations. 

How storms and flooding affect the railway

Why do speed restrictions affect your journeys?

The severe weather will affect journeys across the country. Rail companies are asking you to plan your travel for a different day and to check before you travel. You can also claim compensation if the disruption has affected you.

We and train operators are working together to keep people safe. We have extra engineers out across the network, ready to react to problems when they happen. They’ll check all affected lines for damage before reintroducing services as quickly as possible.

If you re-plan a journey for Friday, you’ll be able to use your ticket to travel on equivalent services with your train operator any time on Thursday or Saturday.

Train companies are urging you to check your journeys again before you travel.

Fallen tree disrupting services between Oxenholme and Penrith during Storm Dudley
Fallen tree disrupting services between Oxenholme and Penrith during Storm Dudley

Jacqueline Starr, chief executive of industry body Rail Delivery Group, said: “Rail companies are working hard to keep people moving safely but journeys will be disrupted, especially on Friday. We’re asking people to plan their travel for a different day if possible or to check and re-check before they travel.”

Jake Kelly, group director of Network Rail’s System Operator function, said: “We will be doing everything we can to keep as many services as possible running safely and reliably on Friday, but with such strong winds expected we know that disruption to passengers’ journeys is inevitable. Please consider whether your journey is necessary on Friday, and if possible re-plan your journey for another day.”

  • Check before you travel: You can check your journey using the National Rail Enquiries real-time Journey Planner. If you would like to follow this incident on Twitter, please use #StormDudley and #StormEunice
  • Some train companies are accepting tickets for different operators over the coming days. You’re advised to check with your train company.
  • Some train companies are accepting tickets for equivalent services on other days beyond Thursday and Saturday. You’re advised to check with your train company.
  • You may return an unused ticket to the original retailer or train company from whom you bought it, where you will be given a full refund with no administration fee charged, if you decide not to travel because the train you intended to use is: • cancelled, or • delayed, or • rescheduled from that in published timetable of the day after you have purchased a ticket or tickets.
  • As extreme weather becomes more frequent, the rail industry is working to make the network more resilient while encouraging more people onto trains to benefit the environment.  

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