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Passengers warned of major disruption to UK rail services on Monday

Passengers should expect significant disruption to rail services on some routes on Monday owing to the severe storm which is due to cross the southern half of the country on Sunday night and Monday morning.

The safety of passengers and rail staff is paramount. As a result, trains will not be allowed to run until the worst of the storm has passed and engineers have been able to check railway lines in daylight for fallen trees, branches or any other debris which may have blown onto or damaged the infrastructure.

The timing and trajectory of the storm mean that services are unlikely to be able to start up until 9am on many routes in the south-east of England, though there is a chance that trains from Hampshire and Surrey towards London may be able to operate slightly earlier as the worst of the weather heads eastwards. Network Rail will be monitoring conditions constantly and will endeavour to clear routes for trains as quickly as possible once the worst of the weather has passed.

Once routes have been cleared as safe to run trains, many operators will be running a reduced or altered service as speed restrictions remain in place to ensure trains can run safely. There may also be issues with staff – many of whom rely on roads or rail – being unable to get to work as a result of transport disruption.

Passengers can log onto nationalrail.co.uk or sign-up for free Twitter alerts to find out how their train service is running.

Robin Gisby, Network Rail’s managing director of network operations, said: “Passengers will, I hope, understand that their safety and the safety of our workforce has to be the rail industry’s number one priority during such severe weather. We will be monitoring conditions on the ground throughout the night and into the morning, but we simply cannot allow trains to run until the storm has passed and we have been able to make sure that the railway is safe and free of damage or obstructions.

“If the forecast proves to be correct then the timing of this storm could not be more challenging, with the worst of the weather coming right at the start of the Monday morning rush-hour for many people. Once the storm has passed we will have a better idea of the work needed to get the railway back up and running safely and I assure passengers that all available resources will be put towards that effort.”

Michael Roberts, director general of Rail Delivery Group, said: "Passenger safety is our top priority which is why services cannot run when there is any risk for customers. We do appreciate the inconvenience caused by cancelled and reduced services, and operators and Network Rail will be working closely together to get trains back up and running as quickly as possible.

"We will do all we can can to keep passengers informed and strongly advise people to check latest updates before setting off and to allow longer for journeys.”

Passenger information
To get the latest real-time rail travel information, passengers should use the National Rail Enquiries (NRE) service, which they can access on the move.

Passengers can:
• Download the free NRE apps for iPhone and Android smartphones, giving access to real time running information, journey planning and information on any disruption.
• Visit the nationalrail.co.uk website to access live train departures boards and journey planners and to search for local operators’ trains.
• Follow NRE on Twitter or their train company.
• ‘Like’ NRE’s dedicated Facebook page.

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