Storm warning leads to train passengers being advised to check before they travel

Train passengers are being urged to check before they travel on Friday January 31.
Train passengers are being urged to check before they travel on Friday January 31.

Train passengers in Eastbourne and Sussex are being urged to check before they travel tomorrow (Friday) as a severe storm forecast for the weekend could see trees brought down on lines and flooding affected services.

The message has been issued today (Thursday January 30) by Southeastern and Network Rail who are warning of possible disruption to services tomorrow.

The weather forecast for Friday evening and overnight into Saturday is for strong winds and heavy rain, bringing the possibility of falling trees and damaged infrastructure on the Kent and East Sussex route. Network Rail has put in place speed restrictions on part of the network from 8pm on Friday until the close of service.

Michelle Ulyatt, customer relations manager for Southeastern, said, “With the severe weather forecast, safety is our absolute priority. Network Rail has advised us that because of the risk of trees on the lines, flooding and more landslips, trains will need to run at a reduced speed on Friday night.

“We’ll be making every effort to provide the best possible service, however it is likely that services will be disrupted. We’re advising customers to check before they travel and plan ahead to avoid possible delays.”

Fiona Taylor, route managing director for Kent at Network Rail, said, “Safety is always our priority and we apologise to passengers whose journeys will be disrupted as a result of this decision. After the wettest January in 100 years, the land around the railway is completely saturated and there is more heavy rain forecast, along with high winds.

“This means that there is a heightened risk of trees and other debris falling on the line and we have to be prepared for that.”

High Speed services will be unaffected by the speed restrictions.

Network Rail will be out at first light checking the railway lines for any damage on Saturday morning.