Rail commuters warned of potential snow delays

Photo: Bill Smith

Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2012

RAILWAY passengers have been warned to allow more time for their journeys and check whether their services are running tomorrow (Friday, January 18) as a result of expected snow and icy weather.

First Capital Connect, which runs trains from Huntingdon and St Neots to London King’s Cross and Peterborough, says it has “prepared as much as possible for the forecasted snow”.

However a spokesman said: “Disruption is likely and we strongly advise customers to allow more time for their journeys and to check before they travel.”

The train operator will be working closely with Network Rail if they need to respond to any issues with the track, power supply or signalling.

It has also put in place what it calls ‘winterisation’ plans, which include ‘ghost trains’ running throughout the night the keep the tracks clear of snow and linking two trains together during service hours, so that if one fails the other can keep it moving.

Train engineers are also stationed at key routes around the network and extra control room staff are on hand to manage any service disruptions. Contractors are clearing car parks.

East Coast trains, which runs fast services between Peterborough and London King’s Cross, also says it is “working closely with Network Rail to prepare stations, trains and infrastructure”.

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It has advised passengers to make their journeys before 6pm, when heavier snowfalls are predicted, and has lifted ticket restrictions for all journeys that arrive in or depart from King’s Cross after 10am.

“We are constantly monitoring predicted weather conditions along our route, and the latest information we have is that heavier snowfalls are expected between Peterborough and the North East tomorrow afternoon and evening,” an East Coast spokesman said.

“Our people are working hard to prepare our trains and stations as well as we can. Additional engineering teams will be based at key points on our route to keep trains moving, while Network Rail have snowploughs ready to keep tracks clear.

“Our advice to customers is, please check for the latest information before setting out, and allow extra time to reach stations as road conditions are expected to deteriorate through the day.”

INFORMATION: Visit the website www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk, www.eastcoast.co.uk and www.nationalrail.co.uk for details about disruptions.