50mph speed restriction throughout the UK’s railway as Storm Ciara takes effect

[NWR] Wherry lines
Credit: Network rail

Network Rail and train operators between London, the West Midlands, North West, and Cumbria are warning passengers to only travel if necessary on Sunday because of Storm Ciara.

With Storm Ciara approaching, the rail industry has given passengers this message: “Only travel by train this Sunday if absolutely necessary.”

Emergency weather action teams are on standby across the country to respond to any rail disruption caused by the adverse weather.

Hull Trains 802
Credit: RailAdvent

Network Rail has also put in speed restrictions of 50mph across the network on Sunday because of storm Ciara.

Some train operators may allow tickets booked for Sunday to be used on Saturday or Monday. Passengers are advised to check with their operators.

What did the officials say?

Jake Kelly, Network Rail’s strategic operations and passenger director for the North West & Central region said:

“It is rare for us to advise passengers to only travel if necessary, but with the latest forecasts showing how severe Storm Ciara will be, we must prioritise 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.

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.”

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  1. Many parts of the UK are expected to have winds reaching 70-80mph and to cause travel disruptions and chaos. This is why we get storms in Winter every year.


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