Snow and strikes to cause ‘significant’ train travel disruption

The National Rail has said disruption is to be “significant”. They added: “If you are traveling, please plan ahead and check your first and last train times.”

The Met Office has warned that the snow which caused travel chaos on Monday is here to stay this week as freezing temperatures continue to cause train delays and suspensions.

Oli Claydon, a spokesman for the Met Office, said: “It’s very cold so the snow will stick around – we will see a continuation of the cold conditions.”

Yellow warnings for ice and snow will continue from Tuesday until at least Thursday in Scotland as well as north-east England.

There is also currently a severe ice warning covering south-east England, which includes London and Brighton, and will continue until at least 11am on Tuesday.

The Met Office has said Monday was the coldest day Britain has experienced since the extreme snowy weather in 2010, which means train services on Southeastern, South Western Railway, Greater Anglia and East Midlands Railway will likely remain disrupted this week.

Network Rail has said hundreds of their staff are currently armed with specialist kits to defrost frozen points and signals and are also using snow plows to clear tracks.

The railway company has said trains cannot run normally in the extremely cold weather, but are trying to do everything possible so that they can “keep [passengers]moving safely in winter”.

On Twitter, they said: “Acceleration and braking are much harder on icy tracks.

“In fact, it’s even more difficult on the railway because the train wheels and rail are both made of steel. This means wheels can slip because it’s harder to get the friction needed to accelerate or brake.

“Without the ability to brake effectively, there is a risk trains could miss their stop or overshoot red signals. At worst, these could cause a collision.”

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Network Rail offered a five percent pay rise for 2022 with another four percent next year in 2023, but over 60 percent of RMT members voted against the deal.

RMT union leader Mike Lynch said the vote was a “huge rejection of Network Rail’s substandard offer and shows that our members are determined to take further strike action in pursuit of a negotiated settlement”.

He added: “The government is refusing to lift a finger to prevent these strikes and it is clear they want to make effective strike action illegal in Britain.

“We will resist that and our members, along with the entire trade union movement, will continue their campaign for a square deal for workers, decent pay increases and good working conditions.”

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail has warned train passengers to “only travel if absolutely necessary” and added that future rail strikes are about to cause “further misery” for the rail industry.



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