Page last updated at 22:21 GMT, Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Rail services are set to resume

Motorist on the M20 in Kent
Motorists have been warned of icy roads

Trains in south-east England are expected to return to a normal timetable, rail operators have said.

The region's network has been badly affected with Kent and Sussex suffering major reductions, Network Rail confirmed.

Southeastern said it was planning to run the normal timetable service from Wednesday morning, but expected delays.

Temperatures as low as -8C (18F) have been predicted overnight and motorists have been warned about icy roads.

De-icing trains have been applying anti-freeze to the electrical rail tracks.

Network Rail spokesman Chris Mitchell said on Tuesday: "Things have gone relatively well, most infrastructure on the network is open with good services running on most lines.

"The area that has been hit hardest is Kent and Sussex... there should be more services tomorrow."

Mr Mitchell said the most disruptive factor over the past two days had been the difficulty of train drivers getting to work.

He urged passengers to check with the operators and with National Rail Enquiries before they travel.

Southern Railway said its services would stop at 2200 GMT on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Southeastern said: "It's likely there may be some delayed, diverted or cancelled services if the icy conditions continue."

Tunnel delays

Eurostar said it would compensate about 2,000 passengers left stranded in the Channel Tunnel on Monday for three hours after three of its services experienced "technical problems" due to the snow.

Two of the company's Paris to London trains and one of its London to Paris services suffered "major delays" as a result of the severe weather conditions, a spokesman said.

The two London-bound services which departed at 16.13 and 17.13 eventually pulled into St Pancras International after midnight - about six hours late.

A Eurostar spokesman said passengers on the three affected services would receive a full refund and one free ticket.

Helicopter views of the snow covered region

About 90% of its services ran on Monday with some short delays, while eight services were cancelled on Tuesday.

Schools in Surrey remained shut on Tuesday and more than 420 schools in Sussex and 370 schools Kent closed.

Airports' operator BAA said airlines were operating almost a full service at Gatwick Airport but passengers were still advised to check before travelling.

Both runways at Heathrow opened but 59 arrivals and 49 departures - of a normal daily total of 1,300 flights - were cancelled, compared to 868 on Monday.

The AA earlier said it had been called out to more than 3,000 incidents across the UK and there had been a particularly high number of accidents in Surrey.

It urged motorists to be fully prepared if they planned to make a journey.

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