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Passengers warned of rail disruptions as Storm Dennis approaches

A fallen tree blocking all lines on a rail track.
Tree blocking all lines at Four Ashes in Staffordshire. Photo: Network Rail

Following Storm Ciara last weekend, Storm Dennis is forecast to hit Britain this Saturday and Sunday.

Dennis is likely to disrupt some rail journeys between London Euston, the West Midlands and Chilterns, Manchester, Liverpool, Lancashire and Cumbria.

With river levels high, the ground saturated and many trackside trees weakened, particularly in the North West, passengers were advised to allow more time – and to check before travelling at or with their train operator.

Network Rail’s North West and Central region today gave this advice to train passengers planning journeys this weekend: “Check before you travel.”

Further flood warnings

Jake Kelly, passenger director for Network Rail, said: “Storm Ciara dumped a month and a half of rain on us last weekend, leaving ground waterlogged and rivers swollen.

“We had a lot of flooding in the North West and a lot of it disrupted the railway, for example at Todmorden and Caldew near Carlisle.

“With Storm Dennis set to bring more high winds and further rainfall this Saturday and Sunday, we’re preparing for more of the same.

“Our advice to passengers is: Please check before you travel at National Rail Enquires or with your train operator.

“That way you’ll have the very latest information and you’ll know what to expect.”

Last weekend teams of Network Rail engineers worked to remove fallen trees and other debris from the railway. This included repairing damaged overhead wires and recovering sections of flooded railway.

Storm Dennis promises 70mph winds and further heavy rain.

Flooding covering a road.
Storm Ciara flooding at Caldew Junction. Photo: Network Rail.

In preparation, extra teams of maintenance and operations engineers are being drafted in across North West and Central’s three routes:

  • North West route – Manchester, Liverpool, Lancashire and Cumbria
  • Central route – West Midlands and Chiltern areas
  • West Coast Mainline South route – West Coast main line south of Crewe to London Euston

Householders neighbouring the railway are reminded to secure garden items which could be blown onto the tracks.

Passengers are advised to check before travelling at National Rail Enquiries.

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