‘Do not travel on Sunday!’ Train companies issue urgent warning ahead of Storm Ciara

A train information board at York Station. Photograph: Danny Lawson / PA Wire
7 Feb 2020 @ 5.54 pm
| Weather

Train companies are urging people to think again if they plan to travel on Sunday (9 February).

Storm Ciara is set to batter Yorkshire with heavy rain and winds that day.

The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for both rain and wind, with up to 50-70mm of rain and gusts of 50-60mph.

This could lead to some damage to buildings, and travel diruption. “Injuries and danger to life from flying debris are possible,” the warning says.

LNER and Grand Central are urging passengers not to travel on Sunday, due to the likelihood of disruption.

Full refund available

Rail power lines damaged by trees brought down in a previous storm. Photograph: Network Rail
Speed restrictions of 50mph have been imposed by Network Rail across the East Coast Main Line route.

LNER managing director David Horne said:

  • We are expecting significant disruption to LNER services this Sunday, so we are advising customers not to travel.

    Customers with tickets booked for Sunday should instead use their tickets to travel on any LNER service on Saturday 8 February, before 6pm, or on Monday 10 February.

    For customers who do not wish to travel, a full refund will be available without charge.

Grand Central, which also operates on the route, is also advising passengers not to travel on Sunday, with refunds available.

Keep moving

A garden trampoline blown onto rail tracks. Photograph: Network Rail
Network Rail says that the high winds can cause damage to overhead power lines, and the 50mph speed limit is an attempt to minimise any damage.

“However, this does mean that fewer services are able to run, and those which do run will take longer than usual,” the company said.

Route director for Network Rail Matt Rice added: “We would like to reassure passengers that we are doing all that we can to keep them moving this weekend, but disruption to services is expected.

“We are well prepared for Storm Ciara and have extra teams working to allow as many trains as possible to run. We are working closely with train operators.

“With essential speed restrictions in place, we strongly advise passengers to allow plenty of time for their journeys, and to check before they travel via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator.”