Storm Ciaran: Network Rail releases video on how weather delays trains

Now Network Rail releases video explaining how wind and rain delays trains after commuters were told to WFH when Storm Ciaran hits Britain

Network Rail has released a video in which it seeks to justify how bad weather can lead to trains being delayed and cancelled ahead of Storm Ciaran making landfall later today.

The animated clip shared on X, formerly Twitter, today claims railway engineers are working ‘around the clock to keep…railways running safely’ – but that strong winds and heavy rainfall can make it ‘unsafe’ to carry out repairs.

Commuters have already been advised by one train operator to work from home where possible on Thursday.

The one minute and 40 second-long video says landslips can take ‘months’ to repair, and how floods can affect ‘third rails’ powering trains, signals and points.

‘We constantly monitor the weather so we can act quickly with repairs, flood defence systems and teams to clear lines,’ the video concludes.

The Network Rail video claims that services are only delayed or cancelled in response to bad weather for the sake of passenger safety

It forms part of a pre-storm publicity blitz by the railway infrastructure body ahead of expected disruption to travel

Coastal areas are expected to be worst hit by Storm Ciaran when it makes landfall in the UK on Wednesday night

Storm Babet caused chaos on Britain’s railways last month, with many services delayed or cancelled altogether as lines were flooded (pictured: Clay Cross in the East Midlands)

It adds: ‘Your safety always comes first, so sometimes we’ll need to slow down or cancel services – but we’ll work with the wider rail industry to keep you updated and get you where you need to be, safely.’ 

The video was posted on social media as part of a publicity blitz by the railway infrastructure body ahead of Storm Ciarán, which is expected to begin battering Britain later on Wednesday, disrupting transport.

Network Rail bosses say they have teams standing by to respond to disruption as and when it occurs. 

READ MORE: Storm Ciaran sparks red warning in Channel Islands as residents brace for 100mph winds with ferries, flights and lessons axed as ‘weather bomb’ edges closer to UK mainland

Lawrence Bowman, network strategy director, said on Wednesday: ‘Storm Ciarán is forecast to bring high winds and heavy rainfall from early this evening, which could lead to trees and other debris falling on to the railway and floods that prevent us from running trains on parts of the network.

‘Our engineers will be on hand at key locations around the clock and in all weather conditions to remove fallen trees and debris from the railway, repair damaged infrastructure and work to reopen lines affected by flooding as soon as possible.

‘We’re asking all passengers to allow more time to complete their journeys and check before travelling, with their train operator directly or through National Rail Enquiries, for the rest of the week.’

MailOnline has contacted the body for further comment. 

Yellow weather warnings for wind and rain come into effect across the south-east, south and south-west of England, as well as most of Wales, from the end of today.

Amber ‘potential risk to life’ alerts are in force from early on Thursday morning in the south-east and south-west of England, while an additional 24-hour yellow ‘be aware’ alert covers the east of Britain from Aberdeen down to Hull from 6am.

The south-west warning runs from 3am until 11am, while the south-east warning runs from 6am until 5pm; gusts of up to 80mph are expected in coastal areas.

The Met Office says that roads, bridges and railway lines ‘may close’ in the worst-affected areas, disrupting travel, while damage to buildings, power lines and trees is ‘possible’.

Met Office spokesman Oli Claydon said the storm is ‘forming as we speak’ and will hit on Wednesday evening, with coastal gusts of 70mph to 80mph and the potential for 85mph.

And people are being urged not to go near the water’s edge due to ‘very dangerous conditions’.

Thameslink has warned that the weather is likely to bring more disruption to rail services and instead encourages commuters to work from home this week

A dramatic storm map shows Storm Ciarán as it will look at 7am on Thursday when it is at its peak in the UK

Cars driving through flood waters in the north-east of England on Wednesday. A yellow weather warning for rain affects the region from Thursday morning

Autumn leaves in Liverpool, Merseyside, amid placid conditions ahead of Storm Ciarán making landfall

Mr Claydon said: ‘There will be very dangerous conditions on the coastline, large waves. We’d urge people not to go near the water’s edge.

‘Rain warnings are in place, there will be some very saturated grounds bringing an additional hazard.’

As of 12pm Wednesday, 24 flood alerts – meaning flooding is ‘expected’ – are in place across England, with two in Scotland and one in Wales.

A red wind warning, the highest level, has been issued by Jersey Met for Wednesday evening into Thursday, with residents warned to avoid outside activity due to predicted gusts of almost 100mph.

One railway operator has already taken to social media to advise commuters to consider working from home tomorrow.

Thameslink wrote on X: ‘Storm Ciarán is expected to cause significant disruption to services across the Southeast on Thursday 2 November with a risk of disruption to Friday 3 Nov too.

‘At this point there is still some uncertainty about the impact, however, Network Rail are planning for speed restrictions to be in place across the network which will cause delay and lead to changes to the train service.’

The operator added: ‘Given the high winds that are forecast and the risk of fallen trees and debris being blown on to the tracks, some routes may have to close on Thursday so you should consider changing your travel plans or working from home on Thursday if you can. 

‘Be sure to check journey planners and station information boards closer in advance, as the weather and its effects can be unpredictable.’ 

Pupils in Jersey have been told to stay at home from school amid fears of widespread destruction rivalling the ‘Great Storm of 1987’.

Meanwhile, in Guernsey, there has already been a scramble for food supplies, with empty shelves in multiple stores this morning as shoppers frantically stocking up for the coming days.

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