Storm Franklin: Do not travel, rail firms tell passengers

Train operators have warned customers to “avoid travel if possible” this morning as services are expected to be paralysed by gale-force winds and lashing rain.

National Rail has warned anyone making essential journeys once services resume to expect “major disruption” to routes “across most of Great Britain” – including cancellations, delays and slower speeds onboard.

TransPennine Express (TPE) is strongly urging customers to “avoid travel if possible”, particularly those planning to travel north of Preston in Lancashire before 10am.

Speaking on Sunday evening, TPE operations director Paul Watson said: “Due to the impact of Storm Franklin, train services are disrupted along the West Coast Mainline.

Great Western Railway (GWR) reiterated the same plea for customers to travel only “if absolutely necessary” as services are expected to be “significantly disrupted across the network” on Monday.

Chiltern Railways says it will a slower service than normal with train speeds restricted to 50mph.

National Rail said: “Please check before you travel if you plan to use train services today or on Monday.

“The poor weather conditions may cause flooding, and any trees already weakened by Storm Eunice may fall down.

“Where conditions worsen, speed restrictions could be put in place to ensure you can travel safely.”