UPDATE: FCC issues Christmas travel warning ahead of severe weather
- Credit: Archant
First Capital Connect (FCC) has reiterated its plea to St Albans passengers to “travel only if necessary” as overhead wire problems and a fallen tree have resulted in delays to this afternoon’s (Monday) rail services.
FCC said that with winds of 70mph forecast to strike between 4pm today and 10am tomorrow, its Thameslink route service is already suffering disruptions.
A reduced service is currently in operation on the Bedford to Brighton line, and trains between St Pancras and Bedford are being delayed by up to 30 minutes because of overhead wire problems near West Hampstead.
Also, a tree caught fire after falling onto the line near Kentish Town. Network Rail engineers were trying to clear the obstruction as of 3.45pm.
A FCC passenger travelling from St Albans has told the Herts Advertiser that the, “trains are bad and running at 20mph as there are problems with the cables”.
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There are delays on all routes as Network Rail has instructed FCC to operate at a reduced speed, to lessen the risk of striking trees and other debris being blown onto railway lines.
A spokesman for FCC said that as the storm is expected to continue overnight the lines will have to be checked for damage on Tuesday morning, “before being released back to us to start running services again.
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“There will be no trains on Tuesday in the hours of darkness, and we’ll resume service as soon as we are able.
“We are advising customers to try and get home early on Monday and wherever possible not to travel Monday evening and Tuesday morning.”
Services will finish earlier tonight, from around 8pm. FCC tickets will be accepted on Greenline route 757 coach services between Luton/Luton Airport and London Victoria coach station.