Passengers warned of further rail disruption from Storm Franklin

The third major storm in just five days brings more extreme winds, around 70 flood warnings and alerts now in place across Wales and borders.

Monday 21st February 2022 9:28 am
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Railway tracks in the wake of Storm Eunice.
Railway tracks in the wake of Storm Eunice. (Network Rail Media Centre )

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Anyone planning to travel by train over the next 24 hours is being advised to check before they travel as Network Rail brings in safety speed restrictions from tonight (Sunday February 20).

Hundreds of engineers have been working all weekend to repair damage from both Storm Dudley and Storm Eunice, which led to the whole Wales & Borders railway being closed on Friday, February 18.

This includes clearing around 100 fallen trees, securing roof panels and canopies, fixing damage to level crossing barriers and draining flooded parts of the tracks. Multiple items have been cleared from the railway in Wales this weekend including, a trampoline, tin roofs and whole fence panels.

With barely any let up in the treacherous weather, now Storm Franklin will bring further heavy rain and gales - with travel disruption likely to continue into Monday (21 February) morning. Services will be subject to alterations until routes have been deemed safe for trains to pass.

A yellow weather warning is in place on Sunday and Monday, with gusts of up to 60-70mph expected in some areas. Natural Resources Wales has a combined total of 70 flood warnings and alerts in place across the country, which could result in flooded tracks.

More gale force winds could see trees already weakened from the previous storms at risk of coming down onto railway lines and the high-voltage web of overhead cables which power trains.

Bill Kelly, Wales & Borders route director, said: “This weekend’s weather has been one of the most challenging for the railway in recent years. As the huge clean-up from Storm Eunice was coming to an end, we find ourselves in the midst of a third major storm, which is likely to bring even more damage and disruption.

“With the winds picking up once more, we’re having to put further speed restrictions in place and close some lines, to keep our passengers and colleagues safe.

“We’re constantly monitoring the weather and the railway to make sure we can keep passenger and freight trains moving.

“I would like to thank everyone for their patience and ask that passengers please check their journey before setting off.”

Bill Kelly, Wales & Borders route director

Passengers are being urged to visit www.nationalrail.co.uk before they set out to check that their train is running and if there is any weather-related travel disruption so they can avoid very long journey times.

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