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Published on : Friday, January 29, 2016
Network Rail has advised train passengers to check before they travel as Wales, northern England and western Scotland brace for the arrival of Storm Gertrude.Forecasters are predicting winds to strengthen and rain to move in this evening. Friday morning is predicted to bring strong winds with gusts reaching up to 70mph in the Lancashire and Cumbria area. The severe weather is predicted to continue throughout the weekend and into early next week.
Network Rail’s frontline teams are on alert across the country, ready to tackle any problems the storm may cause. Cautionary speed restrictions of 50mph will be in place on Friday morning on the West Coast main line between Tebay and Oxenholme when the strongest winds are predicted to minimise the chances of any damage to the overhead lines. Restrictions will also be in place between Settle and Carlisle.
A spokesperson for Network Rail said: “We are drafting in additional teams in preparation for Storm Gertrude’s arrival and our advice to passengers is to check before you travel, using nationalrail.co.uk. With a lot of rain falling on already saturated ground, there is the potential for localised flooding which may cause disruption for passengers.”
The West Coast main line remains closed at Lamington, near Lockerbie, while Network Rail repairs a railway viaduct severely damaged by Storm Frank.The Cumbrian coast line, which was damaged by high tides and strong winds near Parton on Tuesday, reopened this morning (Thursday) after Network Rail’s ornage army carried out assessments and repairs.
Repair work continues across Cumbria and Lancashire on a series of railway embankments and other infrastructure damaged by December’s storms and floods.At Caldew Junction, north of Carlisle, which was under eight feet of floodwater in early December, engineers are putting rebuilt electrical units for powering signals on stilts to guard against them being destroyed again by floods in future.
In Wales, the Conwy Valley line remains closed following the floods over Christmas. Record rainfall caused damage to more than 100 locations on the line from Llandudno Junction to Blaenau Ffestiniog. Clean-up and repairs continue, with the line scheduled to re-open by the end of February.