Extreme weather may affect rail services

Diss, norfolk. Diss Train Station
Diss, norfolk. Diss Train Station

Rail passengers are advised to check before they travel this week due to anticipated heavy snow and extreme weather.

Met Desk has warned of up to 30 centimetres of snow to fall during heavy snow showers overnight from Monday to Tuesday, and on Wednesday and subsequent days.

Greater Anglia have warned that the weather may affect rail services.

Network Rail is concentrating on keeping main routes operating – including Norwich to London, which makes a stop at Diss.

There will be no services on rural routes, including Norwich to Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and Sheringham, and Ipswich to Felixstowe and Lowestoft. There will be no rail replacement bus service on these routes either.

A reduced service will operate between, Ipswich, Colchester and London Liverpool Street due to slower speed restrictions.

Services today will end at 10pm to enable trains to return to return to depots and stations before the forecast snow storms start. Services will start to be reduced from 8pm.

Some empty trains will run throughout the night to keep lines clear of snow for the morning commute.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the reduced service will operate only between 6am and 10pm.

If the weather is not as extreme as forecast, Greater Anglia and Network Rail said they will work to reinstate services and reopen lines as soon as possible.

Richard Dean, Greater Anglia train service delivery director said: “We apologise for the inconvenience that this reduced service causes customers.

“The last time such heavy snow fell in this region was over 25 years ago. In extreme conditions such as these, we work hard with Network Rail to keep key routes open, using snow ploughs, points heaters and mobilising all staff to clear snow off platforms and heat up and de-ice trains.

“Volume of traffic on some routes keep snow from settling too deep, like on roads, but not on rural routes. We are committed to keeping our customers safe in all conditions and the last thing anyone wants is for customers to be stranded on a cold train in the middle of a blizzard in rural Suffolk or Norfolk.

“If the forecasts prove wrong, we will of course, do everything possible to get services up and running as soon as possible.”

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We will be keeping a close eye on the forecast over the next few days and have plans in place should the extreme weather materialise. We will have extra staff working around the clock in order to keep main lines as clear as possible but while we will do everything we can to keep people moving, some lines may be closed and services will be subject to delays and cancellations, especially in the areas worst hit.

“We apologise for the inconvenience this will cause but the safety of our passengers and staff remains our number one priority.”