East Midlands Railway (EMR), which runs local rail routes around the county, as well as East Coast Main Line operator LNER, are advising customers to consider travelling on Thursday and Saturday to avoid possible disruption from Friday’s Storm Eunice.
Due to the strong winds and rain, it is expected that there will be significant disruption on Friday across the EMR network and trains will be required to travel much slower.
There will also be fewer trains on some routes and journey times will be significantly increased - with some journeys taking up to twice as long to complete, says the rail company.
If customers can rearrange their travel plans, they may use their original Friday February 18 ticket on EMR services for Thursday February 17 or Saturday February 19 instead.
Customers who do need to travel on Friday should check EMR’s website before setting off. EMR says it will do everything it can to offer alternative routes during times of unplanned disruption, however customers should keep in mind that other rail routes are likely to be also affected and road conditions may restrict its ability to respond to incidents with Rail Replacement buses and other road transport.
Customers with tickets for Friday who would rather not travel, even on Thursday or Saturday, can claim a refund.
Matt Stacey, Head of Stations at East Midlands Railway, said: “We strongly advise customers who need to make a journey with us in the next few days to choose Thursday or Saturday. The strength of Storm Eunice will mean that on Friday there is likely to be widespread disruption to services across the country’s rail network.
"However, we understand that not everyone can rearrange their travel plans and customers may still need to travel by rail. If this is the case, we suggest customers leave themselves plenty of extra time to reach their destination.”
Gary Walsh, East Midlands Route Director for Network Rail, said: “Running a railway through extreme weather is always a challenge. We have extra workers out on the network at key locations, ready to react quickly to Storm Eunice and keep passengers moving wherever it’s safe to do so. As the weather worsens, some journeys may take longer, so I’d advise passengers to check before travelling and allow plenty of time.”
More information about how services are affected by Storm Eunice can be found on EMR’s website or by following the company's Twitter account.
London North Eastern Railway (LNER) is advising customers check in advance of their journeys as a reduced timetable will be in place across parts of the LNER route on Friday.
People who are booked to travel in either direction between York and London King’s Cross or Leeds and London King’s Cross are being advised not to travel on Friday but where possible, make their journey today (Thursday). Customers should travel as close as possible to the original booked time of day and make a new seat reservation where available at LNER.co.uk/Reserve or on the LNER app or via Customer Services on 03457 225 333.
Alternatively, customers can request a full refund from their point of purchase.
Network Rail has introduced speed restrictions on the East Coast route with possible damage to infrastructure as a result of the anticipated conditions. The Met Office has issued an extreme weather warning with high winds forecast with central and southern England expected to be most impacted by Storm Eunice.
Services that can operate face extended journey times, and short notice delays, alterations and cancellations are expected.
Warrick Dent, LNER Safety and Operations Director, said: “We are encouraging our customers with tickets dated for Friday February 18 to bring forward their travel arrangements to
Thursday February 17 where possible.
“We expect services to be extremely busy in the coming days and advise customers to check our website and social media channels for the latest information.”
LNER apologises for any disruption impacting customer journeys. The latest information is available online at LNER.co.uk or @LNER on Twitter.