Following a series of further incidents caused by high winds on Sunday evening (20th February 2022), South Western Railway (SWR) is urging customers not to travel today (21st February 2022).
The rail company say while they are working hard to run as many services as they safely can, strong winds and a 50mph speed restriction will cause delays and cancellations throughout the day.
A spokesperson said, “We also anticipate further line blockages due to fallen trees, with weather conditions likely to hamper efforts to help stranded customers. Regrettably, we are also unable to guarantee replacement travel services will be provided during this challenging time.”
Christian Neill, Customer Experience Director for South Western Railway said, “We understand Monday marks the first day back from half term for many and we are sorry for the continuing disruption these storms are causing. It has been an incredibly challenging few days and our teams have been working tirelessly to clear the tracks to safely run as many trains as possible. With more severe weather expected on Monday, we are asking customers not to attempt to travel as we cannot guarantee to get them to their destination.”
Mark Killick, Route Director for Network Rail commented, “Storm Franklin is set to cause further disruption on our route so we’re asking our customers not to travel on Monday. With strong winds approaching from a different direction, it’s likely that trees weakened by Storm Eunice will be forced down and could block lines.
“The safety of our customers and our staff, who have worked around the clock since Friday to remove debris and repair damaged infrastructure, is our number one priority. I’d like to thank our customers for their patience over the last three days.”
Tickets booked for travel on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday will be accepted on Tuesday.
Since Friday’s winds of over 90mph, more than 50 fallen trees have been cleared from the South Western Railway region. Sunday evening’s heavy wind and rain caused even more trees to block the lines and further damage to stations and infrastructure.
With the wind direction expected to change, more trees are expected to come down during storm Franklin, having been weakened over the last two days.