Christmas presents headache for Harlow rail commuters

News / Sun 22nd Dec 2013 pm31 05:06pm

HARLOW RAIL commuters face major disruption after Greater Anglia (GA) announced that no trains will run on its entire network on Christmas Eve before 10am.

There will also be cancellations tomorrow (Monday) evening as a result of services – including those on the London Liverpool Street to Cambridge line through Bishop’s Stortford and Harlow – being run at reduced speeds from 6pm until the end of the day.

The decision comes after a forecast of heavy rain and severe gale force winds for the region.

The Met Office has issued an amber “be prepared” alert for some parts of Essex and a yellow “be aware” warning for Herts and other parts of Essex covering the 26-hour period from 7am tomorrow until 9am on Christmas Eve.

A statement on the website of GA said: “On Monday 23 December the weather forecast indicates that a storm with winds of up to 70mph will affect our network from around 18:00 and throughout the night.

“Based on this forecast, we have taken a decision to run trains at reduced speeds from 18:00 until the end of the day.

“These speed restrictions will limit the number of trains that we can run, particularly during the evening rush hour, and customers who are able to do so are strongly advised to complete their journeys early.”

Details of the reduced Monday evening rush-hour service will be announced tomorrow.

“On Tuesday 24 December we do not expect to run any trains on any routes across our network until 10:00.

“This is to allow us to run trains at low speed along each line on our network in daylight in order to check for damage to overhead wires and/or any debris from the storm.

“This will ensure that we can safely run trains and we will update customers throughout Tuesday morning as lines reopen.

“Customers are advised not to travel until 10:00 and to check their line is open prior to setting out.”

Passengers with tickets dated for travel on Christmas Eve can use them to travel on Monday. In addition, customers with advanced purchase tickets timed after 3pm on Monday may travel earlier in the day if they wish.

“Other train operators are expecting disruption to their services, so customers travelling beyond our network should check the latest at www.nationalrail.co.uk,” GA adds.

All passengers travelling on Monday and Tuesday are strongly advised to check their journey prior to setting off.

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