Network Rail teams on standby to deal with Storm Gertrude

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Network Rail teams are on standby ready to deal with damage to the railway caused by Storm Gertrude.

With severe weather warnings in place across the north of England, response teams based in York are on standby in case they’re needed to deal with damage to overhead line equipment while chainsaw gangs are in place in Leeds to help clear fallen treesor branches from the tracks.

Route proving trains, which are used to check that the lines are clear of obstructions, are also in place to run on the Whitby to Middlesbrough line tomorrow morning as well as being on standby at Newcastle and Doncaster, and maintenance staff will accompany the first train between Newcastle and Riding Mill to make sure the tracks are clear.

There are currently no planned service alterations, but it is likely that an 80mph speed restriction will be imposed for electric trains on the East Coast Main Line if winds reach forecast speedsto prevent damage to the overhead lines.

Network Rail route managing director, Rob McIntosh, said: “The north of EngIand and Scotland continue to bear the brunt of this winter’s severe weather, with high winds and more rain forecast in the next 24 hours. Teams are in place across our network so they can respond to any problems that might affect the safe operation of trains. We’d ask those planning to travel by train on Friday and into the weekend to check with National Rail Enquiries before they travel as some delays are inevitable as a result of weather disruption.”