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The BBC's Daniel Boettcher
"Many timetables were little more than a list of suspended services"
 real 56k

Jay Merritt, Assoc. of Train Operating Companies
"Services are slowly being resumed"
 real 28k

The BBC's Francesca Kasteliz reports from Dover
"All the passenger ferries are now back safely"
 real 56k

Tuesday, 31 October, 2000, 12:47 GMT
More delays for travellers

Rail travellers face more delays after a terrible weekend
Rail operators will be running 90 per cent of a normal service but there will still be widespread delays and cancellations.

The problems caused by the storm have been compounded by continuing speed restrictions following the Hatfield crash and the seasonal problems of leaves on the line.

Railtrack has said it will be Wednesday week, 8 November, before services return to normal.

In the south, which was worst affected by the storms, the misery of recent days for commuters continues.

Freak conditions

Freak conditions have brought chaos to London Underground, with trains running to a Saturday service at peak hours on Tuesday.

The electricity generator that runs the tubes was damaged by leaves and debris from the swollen River Thames and the power had to be turned down causing the cancellation of more than a quarter of all trains.

London Underground
Freak conditions has brought chaos to London Underground

Engineers are working frantically to fix the problem before Tuesday's evening rush-hour.

Connex South Central and South Eastern services, which ran replacement bus services, and Thameslink have warned there will be delays because of speed restrictions and leaves on the line.

South West Trains say all services are back to normal, except trains to and from Southampton which will operate only to Eastleigh.

There are delays on West Anglia Great Northern (WAGN) trains to Stansted Airport from Liverpool Street, but the Heathrow, Gatwick Express and Eurostar services are back to normal.

Widespread disruption

There remains widespread disruption to services in the west of England and in Wales.

Wales & West trains say lines between Cardiff and Bridgend, Gloucester and Swindon among others are closed, while First Great Western trains are running an hourly service between Paddington, Bristol and Cardiff. Virgin Trains continue to suspend services between Exeter and Bristol.

High-sided vehicles risk being blown over in strong wind

First North Western trains remain disrupted between Bolton and Blackburn because of Monday's weather problems.

Merseyrail services are being disrupted due to flooding on Merseyside and Northern Spirit says floods has caused disruption on the Leeds-Blackpool line.

The Leeds to Carlisle service remains suspended because of safety checks.

Silverlink County has warned of disruption between London Euston and Birmingham New Street.

Euston Station
Passengers face more frustrating delays

Railtrack said the network was gradually reopening but warned train services would be subject to long delays.

About 1,000 trees have been cleared from lines in the southern region - worst affected by the storms - and Railtrack had teams working throughout the night to try to clear the tracks.

Engineers also had to deal with other wind-blown obstacles on railway lines including a warehouse roof near Peterborough, Cambs, a Portakabin at Skegness, Lincs and a garden shed near Hull.

Rail Enquiries Hotline: 08457 48 49 50

A spokesman for Virgin said it expected to resume near-normal Scotland to England services, although trains would be subject to delays of approximately one hour.

ScotRail said its sleeper services remained subject to disruption due to the weather and emergency speed restrictions on the West Coast main line.

Services on GNER from Kings Cross to Yorkshire, the north east and Scotland have been restored but are subject to delays.

On the roads, drivers are being warned to take care as some areas remain at risk from flooding.

Rail engineer
Engineers continue to check miles of track
The four deaths caused by the storms across England all came in road accidents, such as vehicles colliding with fallen trees.

On Tuesday, drivers were warned to expect problems on the M11 in Essex, the A3, A23 and A31 in Surrey and minor roads in West Yorkshire and Warwickshire.

Dover port, which was shut by high winds for 16 hours, has re-opened but services will remain heavily disrupted.

Travel advice

It is a similar picture on Irish Sea routes and services between Portsmouth and the Channel Islands. Travellers are advised to check with ferry companies before setting off.

A cross-section of airlines were affected by the gales, including British Airways which cancelled 73 short haul flights from Heathrow, about one third of its scheduled short haul services from the airport, and two long haul flights from Heathrow.

The problem the airlines now face is from aircraft and crews being in the wrong place and airport operator BAA is urging passengers to continue checking with their airline before setting out.

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See also:

30 Oct 00 | UK
Storm chaos across Britain
29 Oct 00 | UK
Rail delays reach peak
30 Oct 00 | UK
Storm chaos at a glance
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