Train passengers warned 'check before you travel' as Storm Dennis looms

Network Rail teams on stand-by to clear debris with heavy rain and 50mph winds on the way

By Kevin Nicholls
Friday, 14th February 2020, 3:23 pm
Updated Friday, 14th February 2020, 3:24 pm

Network Rail has issued a "check before you travel" to Northamptonshire train travellers as Storm Dennis batters the county this weekend.

Met Office yellow and amber alerts are in force for the county and neighbouring areas with heavy rain forecast to last up to 48 hours with gusts topping 50mph.

Train operators London Northwestern -- which runs services through Northampton -- and East Midlands Railway both fear the weather could force Network Rail to impose speed restrictions on their trains.

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Met Office weather alerts are in force for Saturday and Sunday this weekend

Dozens of Network Rail engineers who removed fallen trees and other debris from tracks – including a trampoline from the line near Bedford – as Storm Ciara brought damage and destruction last weekend are on stand-by again.

Network Rail's network services director Nick King said: "As we saw last week, stormy weather brings high winds that can lead to trees and other debris falling onto the railway and floods that prevent us from running trains on parts of the network.

"That is why we are again asking passengers to check their journeys before they travel this weekend, either with their train operator directly or through National Rail Enquiries.

"Our teams of engineers will again be out working at all hours and in all weathers to remove fallen trees and debris from the railway, repair damaged infrastructure and work to reopen lines affected by flooding."

Train halted by a trampoline on the Midland Main Line during Storm Ciara

East Midlands Railway passengers from Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough are already faced with using replacement coaches because of engineering work all weekend. But they could still face delays if roads are flooded or connecting services are delayed.

An EMR spokesman said: "We have are no plans to amend train times at the moment.

"But Network Rail will be taking advice from the Met Office regarding the forecast and may need to impose speed restrictions to protect customers and the railway. There is also the potential for heavy rain to affect the railway so we strongly advise passengers to check journeys before they set out."