'Do not travel' warning for train passengers as Storm Eunice heads for Northamptonshire

Operators prepare for short-notice cancellations, delays and extended journey times on Friday

Train bosses are telling passengers to stay at home on Friday (February 18) after cancelling a swathe of services before Storm Eunice strikes.

London Northwestern Railway says it will be running a reduced timetable between London, Northampton, Birmingham and the North West.

A spokesman for the company warned: "We strongly recommend customers do not travel due to extreme weather anticipated across the UK rail network."

Rail passengers in the county are being advised to stay at home on Friday

East Midlands Railway will pull its entire fleet of electric Connect 360 trains out of service as a precautionary measure and are warning journeys to London could take twice as long as usual as Network Rail enforces speed restrictions as a safety measure.

Only two Intercity services an hour will run between the Midlands and London St Pancras making extra stops at Kettering and Wellingborough. Corby passengers will be shuttled to and from Kettering by bus.

But all surviving services will be subject to short-notice cancellations, delays and extended journey times.

A Met Office amber alert is in force from 3am on Friday until 9pm warning there is a good chance of danger to life and damage to buildings from 80mph gusts.

Gary Walsh, East Midlands Route director for Network Rail, said: “Running a railway through extreme weather is always a challenge.

"We have extra workers out on the network at key locations, ready to react quickly to Storm Eunice and keep passengers moving wherever it’s safe to do so.

"As the weather worsens, some journeys may take longer, so I’d advise passengers to check before travelling and allow plenty of time.”

EMR is asking passengers to rearrange journeys for Thursday or Saturday using the same ticket if they have booked in advance, but are offering refunds to those choosing not to travel.

A spokesman said: "We will do everything we can to offer alternative routes during times of unplanned disruption however you should keep in mind that other rail routes are likely to be affected too and road conditions may restrict our ability to respond to incidents with Rail Replacement buses and other road transport."

Avanti West Coast also confirmed it will operate and amended timetable on Friday on its mainline services in and out of London Euston on Friday.

Passengers were stranded at stations and on trains on Wednesday (February 16) when overhead power lines came down after a tree was blown down near St Albans.