Trains disrupted after storm hits

Rail passengers advised not to travel today (Monday).

South West Trains is continuing to advise passengers not to travel today (Monday) as engineers work to clear fallen trees and debris following overnight hurricane-force winds and heavy rain across the south of the country.

Test trains have been running since early this morning to check the condition of routes.

Maintenance teams and engineers are dealing with around 50 fallen trees and the impact from other debris across the South West Trains network, which covers the area worst affected by the storm.

A phased re-introduction of a small number of services is now underway on the following routes which have been declared safe to run trains:

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Portsmouth to Southampton

Waterloo to Bournemouth

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Staines to Waterloo via Twickenham

Basingstoke to London Waterloo (London-bound only)

Woking to London Waterloo

Farnham to London Waterloo

However, services elsewhere on the network are not expected to run before 12noon at the earliest and in some cases this could be considerably later.

A significantly reduced train service will operate on routes which have been declared safe to re-open.

When trains start running, the high winds mean that they will be restricted to a maximum speed of 50mph as a safety precaution in case of obstructions on the tracks. This will result in significant delays to journeys and some may take twice the normal time.

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A spokesman for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance said: “We have now been able to start running a small number of services on a few routes, however our continuing advice to passengers is not to travel unless it is absolutely necessary. The south-west of the country was one of the areas worst hit by the storm overnight. Our test trains have been out on the network checking routes for damage. Maintenance teams and engineers are dealing with around 50 fallen trees and other debris on the tracks, including a shed. Trees weakened by the storm have been continuing to fall on tracks as the morning has gone on.

“The safety of customers and our staff is our absolute priority. As a result of the impact of the high winds and heavy rain, the vast majority of trains are not expected to run until at least 12noon and possibly considerably later in the worst affected areas. We are working hard to restore services on our network as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we would advise advising passengers who need to travel to plan ahead by checking the latest travel information, allow extra time to complete their trips and take care during their journeys.”

Customers with single or return tickets dated Monday 28 October can use them on Tuesday 29 October.

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