‘Do not travel’ on Monday, South Western Railway urges passengers as storm disruption continues

By Daniel Gee   |   Head of Content   |
Sunday 20th February 2022 11:56 pm
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Network Rail is working to remove 30 collapsed trees - and a trampoline - from key routes on its network
Since Friday’s winds of over 90mph, Network Rail have cleared more than 50 fallen trees – and a trampoline – from the South Western Railway region (Network Rail )

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SOUTH Western Railway is urging passengers not to travel on Monday following a series of further incidents caused by high winds on Sunday evening.

The rail operator said it is “working hard to run as many services as we safely can”, but warned strong winds and a 50mph speed restriction will cause delays and cancellations throughout the day.

It also anticipates further line blockages because of fallen trees, with weather conditions likely to hamper efforts to help stranded customers.

South Western Railway is also unable to guarantee replacement travel services will be provided.

Since Friday’s winds of over 90mph, Network Rail have cleared more than 50 fallen trees from the South Western Railway region.

Sunday evening’s heavy wind and rain caused even more trees to block the lines and further damage to stations and infrastructure.

With the wind direction expected to change it is very likely that more trees will come down during storm Franklin, having been weakened over the last two days.

Christian Neill, customer experience director for South Western Railway, said: “We understand Monday marks the first day back from half term for many and we are sorry for the continuing disruption these storms are causing.

“It has been an incredibly challenging few days and our teams have been working tirelessly to clear the tracks to safely run as many trains as possible.

“With more severe weather expected on Monday, we are asking customers not to attempt to travel as we cannot guarantee to get them to their destination.”

Network Rail has echoed South Western Railway’s advice not to travel on Monday.

Mark Killick, route director for Network Rail, added: “Storm Franklin is set to cause further disruption on our route so we’re asking our customers not to travel on Monday.

“With strong winds approaching from a different direction, it’s likely that trees weakened by Storm Eunice will be forced down and could block lines.

“The safety of our customers and our staff, who have worked around the clock since Friday to remove debris and repair damaged infrastructure, is our number one priority. I’d like to thank our customers for their patience over the last three days.”

Tickets booked for travel on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday will be accepted on Tuesday.

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