Severe rail disruption is expected across the UK tomorrow.
Train passengers travelling across the North West are being warned of slower-than-usual journeys and travel disruption as Storm Ciara hits Britain this weekend.
To keep passengers and railway staff safe, train speeds along Network Rail’s North West & Central region are being reduced to 50pmh on Sunday 9th February, meaning journeys could take significantly longer.
This 50mph speed limit includes the West Coast main line, Chiltern main line, and lines in the West Midlands, North West and Cumbria.
Passengers are being advised to check before they travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk and with their train operators to see how their journeys could be affected.
Some train operators may allow tickets booked for Sunday to be used on Saturday or Monday. Passengers are advised to check with their operators.
Jake Kelly, Network Rail’s strategic operations and passenger director for the North West & Central region, said: “With the adverse weather forecast this weekend, our plans and decisions are prioritising the safety of passengers and railway staff.
“Our teams have been planning for the likelihood that debris will be blown onto tracks and overhead electric wires. We have extra people on the ground at various locations across the region to deal with any disruption. I understand 50mph speed limits on Sunday may be frustrating for some people, but they are a necessary safety precaution when such wild weather is expected.
“I thank passengers in advance for their patience and urge people to check before travelling at www.nationalrail.co.uk or with their train operator.
“For anyone planning to travel by train this Sunday, expect your journey to take longer than normal.”
Business owners and householders neighbouring the railway are also being reminded to secure anything in their gardens and yards which could be blown onto the tracks.
It comes after a trampoline was blown onto the West Coast main line last month bringing disruption to passengers.
Jake added: “In strong winds trampolines become airborne very easily. Our advice is: Please tether these kinds of items. That way you won’t lose them and train passengers’ journeys won’t be disrupted.
“We’re appealing to people living and working by the railway to ensure other items, such as gazebos, marquees, empty builders’ sacks, tents and the like are fixed in place, so they don’t end up on the tracks during high winds.”
Passengers are urged to check www.nationalrail.co.uk over the weekend to check for the latest travel alerts ahead of Storm Ciara's arrival.