RAIL Passengers in the area are being advised to check before they travel today, Wednesday, as gale-force winds and heavy rain will mean changes to services across the region.
With wind speeds of up to 100mph forecast at some locations, services across the north west will be affected as a widespread 50mph speed restriction is put in place from 4pm this afternoon.
The West Coast main line between Preston and Penrith will be closed to all traffic between 7pm and 9pm when the highest wind speeds are predicted.
The speed restrictions and closure are necessary to reduce the risk to trains, passengers and railway staff posed by trees, branches and other debris which can block lines and damage signals.
Martin Frobisher, area director for Network Rail, said: “Getting everyone safely to their destinations today is our priority – but there will be delays and disruption as we plan for and react to the forecast conditions.
“We are working closely with the train operators to provide the best possible service and will do everything we can to run as many trains as we are safely able to.
“Extra staff will be out across the network in the north west to react quickly to any problems, removing debris and fixing equipment where possible. I’d like to thank passengers in advance for their patience and understanding and urge them to check with their train operators or National Rail Enquiries for the latest service information before travelling.”
Virgin Trains is urging customers travelling from Glasgow to south of Carlisle and from the south to destinations north of Preston not to travel. Customers with advance purchase tickets for such journeys may travel tomorrow, Thursday, or alternatively a full refund will be available from the point of purchase.