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Storm Eunice set to cause further rail disruption as travellers urged to consider their plans

© Jane Barlow/PA WireA train leaves Glasgow Central Station before Storm Dudley hit
A train leaves Glasgow Central Station before Storm Dudley hit

As rail services return to normal after Storm Dudley, there are warnings for further disruption on Friday.

With Storm Eunice set to arrive, bringing wind and snow, rail operators across the UK have warned travellers to expect more delays and cancellations.

ScotRail services were wound down by 4pm on Wednesday due to Met Office amber weather warnings for high winds, though some services began running again on Thursday morning after safety checks on the line.

Scotland was buffeted with strong winds as Storm Dudley hit, with a gust of 74mph recorded at Drumalbin in South Lanarkshire, the Met Office said.

Further severe weather is expected from Friday morning, with a yellow weather warning in place for snow across most of Scotland.

David Simpson, ScotRail service delivery director, said: “All routes across Scotland’s railway are now open with services returning to normal, following the severe weather during Storm Dudley.

“Network Rail engineers have worked tirelessly to inspect around 1,500 miles of railway, clear debris from the tracks and repair damage to the railway infrastructure.

“Preparations are now under way ahead of Storm Eunice and teams will be working around the clock to deal with any weather-related incidents quickly and efficiently.

“We ask customers who are planning to travel to keep an eye on our website, app or social media feeds for live updates.”

© Met Office
Weather warnings in place for Friday

Storm Eunice

Storm Eunice is due to hit Scotland on Friday, bringing heavy snow and some strong winds to some parts of the country.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for between 3am and 6pm on Friday, covering central Scotland, Tayside and Fife, Strathclyde, south west Scotland, and Lothian and Borders, and it was later expanded northwards to cover Grampian and the Highlands.

Wind conditions are set to be even worse in parts of England, with forecasters issuing a rare red weather warning for the coastline of Devon, Cornwall and Somerset as well as the south coast of Wales.

All rail services in Wales have been cancelled for the whole day.

A Network Rail spokesman said disruption is “inevitable”, and there will be blanket speed restrictions of 50mph in most places, with winds forecast to reach 90mph in some areas.

South Western Railway said a speed restriction will be in place across its entire network for most of Friday.

An amber weather warning is also in place covering the rest of Wales and much of England as far north as Manchester and Hull, while a yellow warning covers Northern Ireland and much of Scotland.

TransPennine Express urged people not to take the train on Friday amid severe weather expected in northern England and Scotland.

Warning that “significant disruption is likely”, the operator urged customers to travel on Thursday or wait until Saturday.

Paul Watson, operations director for the firm, said: “Storm Eunice will be the second storm to impact our services this week and it is likely to cause major disruption to train services, right across the North of England and into Scotland.

“The most important thing is that our customers and staff are kept safe, and we are urging customers not to travel by train on Friday 18 February. We are instead asking customers to make their journeys on either Thursday 17 or Saturday 19 February.”

Avanti West Coast said it will run an amended timetable on Friday, with longer journey times due to speed restrictions.

The operator tweeted: “We strongly recommend customers do not travel on Friday 18 & instead travel on Thursday 17 or Saturday 19 Feb with their original tickets.”

Jacqueline Starr, chief executive at the Rail Delivery Group, said that while rail companies are “working hard to keep people moving safely”, journeys will be disrupted.

She added: “We’re asking people to plan their travel for a different day if possible or to check and re-check before they travel.”

Network Rail’s group director Jake Kelly said: “We will be doing everything we can to keep as many services as possible running safely and reliably on Friday, but with such strong winds expected we know that disruption to passengers’ journeys is inevitable.

“Please consider whether your journey is necessary on Friday, and if possible re-plan your journey for another day.”