Thameslink and Great Northern are advising rail passengers not to travel on two of their key routes – between Peterborough and London, and Bedford and London – this Sunday, 9 February, because of Storm Ciara.
High winds of up to 80mph and heavy rain are forecast by the Met Office, increasing the risk of damage to overhead power lines and trees or other debris being blown on to the tracks.
As a safety precaution, and to reduce the chance of the overhead lines being damaged, Network Rail is set to impose a speed restriction of 50mph across the network on Sunday.
Thameslink and Great Northern will have to significantly reduce its service, and trains that do run will take longer due to the speed restrictions in force.
As well as advising passengers not to travel between Peterborough or Bedford and London, the route between Kings Lynn, Cambridge and London will also be heavily impacted.
Service disruption may continue into Monday and commuters are urged to check online at www.nationalrail.co.uk before they leave for work.
Managing Director for Thameslink and Great Northern Tom Moran said: “We are putting passengers first, and thinking of their safety given the extreme weather forecast.
“There is a high risk of disruption right across our network, and we are having to reduce our service, so we are advising passengers not to travel unless absolutely necessary on two of our key routes.
“We’ll have extra managers on the ground to help and will be running trains over much of the network in the early hours of Monday morning to check the routes are clear.
“However, there may still be disruption on Monday morning and I would urge commuters to check before they travel on our websites or at www.nationalrail.co.uk.”