Posted 26th January 2016 | 3 Comments

Railway braces as Atlantic storm approaches

NETWORK RAIL has deployed frontline teams in north west England, western Scotland and Wales as Storm Jonas approaches across the Atlantic.

The weather system has dumped almost record levels of snow in a number of American states, but it is expected to bring winds and rain, rather than snow, when it makes landfall here.

Even so, flooding is likely in areas which are still saturated after the heavy rain of the past few weeks, and with high winds forecast when the storm arrives, speed restrictions are likely in North Wales on the line from Chester to Holyhead.

Network Rail said: "We are preparing for the worst while of course hoping for the best. With a lot of rain expected to fall on already-saturated areas, flooding is likely. And in some places repairs are still taking place following damage from the last storms.

"As you'd expect, we're drafting in additional frontline staff to tackle any potential problems that may arise. Our advice to train passengers is check before you travel on, so you know what to expect."

Meanwhile, the West Coast Main Line remains closed at Lamington viaduct near Lockerbie while Network Rail continues to repair previous storm damage, while teams are also at work repairing various embankments in Cumbria and Lancashire. In Wales, the Conwy Valley line remains closed after floods over Christmas. Record rainfall caused damage at more than 100 places on the line between Llandudno Junction and Blaenau Ffestiniog. Network Rail hopes to re-open the route by the end of February.

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Chris Green, Huddersfield

    There is no end in sight to the possibility of disruption to Britain's train network Storm Henry is imminent. Hopefully there will be no news stories of further infrastructure damage because Network Rail already have enough on their plate with Lamington Viaduct currently undergoing repairs and engineers attempting to get a service on the Tyne Valley Line resumed due to the landslip west of Hexham.

  • Chris Green, Huddersfield

    The Tyne Valley Line was befallen by the unpleasant weather and there's no indication on when the line will reopen so trains can operate in it. I know the landslip which is preventing a service from being run on it is quite severe, but this line links two major cities in Newcastle and Carlisle, and it's key that engineers get the line reopened as soon as possible.

  • Chris Green, Huddersfield

    I haven't come across any headlines saying that Storm Jonas has generated further detriment on the WCML's infrastructure or any other line. This is a huge sigh of relief to the regular passenger because Network Rail engineers are working tirelessly around the clock to get the tracks north of Carlisle back up and running.
    [Yes, no news is good news in this case--Editor.]