October 28, 2013

Storm disrupts rail travel in Britain and the Netherlands

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TRAIN services have been disrupted by a severe storm with winds gusting at up to 159km/h which swept across southern England in the early hours of October 28 before heading to the Netherlands en route to Denmark where it was expected to arrive later today.

Several train operators in southern Britain were prepared for the storm and announced that train services would not start until tracks had been inspected for damage.

"While conditions were as forecast during the early part of the morning, the damage caused by the storm has been more severe than expected as it has tracked eastwards to the north of London and across to East Anglia," said Mr Robin Gisby, managing director of network operations with Network Rail, in a statement at 09.00. "As a result, the West Coast, East Coast and Midland main lines are all currently blocked at their southern ends as a result of fallen trees and damage to power lines, and all services are currently suspended on the Anglia route, where the storm is currently. At the latest count we have had more than 100 trees down across the southern half of the country and we expect to find more as we complete our safety checks this morning."

Netherlands Railways (NS) was forced to suspend train services through Amsterdam Central due to storm damage and the station was not expected to reopen until 14.00. The main lines from Amsterdam via Schiphol Airport to Leiden, as well as from Haarlem to Leiden, and between The Hague and Schiedam, near Rotterdam, were all closed due to fallen trees. Three other lines were also obstructed. NS hoped to clear the debris by 15.00.

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