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Passengers travelling between London, the West Midlands and North West are being warned of slower-than-usual journeys and travel disruption as Storm Alex hits Britain this weekend.
To keep passengers and railway staff safe, speed restrictions for trains will be in place across Network Rail’s North West & Central region.
The safety measures will impact trains on routes stretching from Blackpool to London, between 7pm on Saturday 3 October and 10pm on Sunday 4 October.
This includes the West Coast main line, Chiltern main line, and railway in the West Midlands and North West.
Passengers are being advised to check before they travel at http://www.nationalrail.co.uk and with their train operators to see how their journeys could be affected.
Jake Kelly, Network Rail’s passenger director for the North West & Central region, said: “With wet and windy 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 of surface water flooding and 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 that speed limits may be frustrating, 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 http://www.nationalrail.co.uk or with their train operator. Please also remember to follow government guidelines and wear a face covering when travelling unless you are exempt for medical reasons.”
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.
In previous storms trampolines and gazebos have ended up causing major 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.”
Meanwhile, passengers are asked to continue following Government guidance around the use of public transport.
Travellers must wear a face covering on train services and any replacement bus services. Those who fail to do so risk being fined £200.
However, some people are exempt, including young children and people with hidden disabilities or breathing difficulties.
For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers
Passengers can plan their journeys by checking http://www.nationalrail.co.uk.
Photo credit: Network Rail
This article first appeared on www.railbusinessdaily.com
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