Late winter snow tightens its grip on railways

SNOW and ice continues to affect a number of railway operators, particularly in Scotland and south east England.

ScotRail is running reduced services in many areas, while Southeastern, c2c, Greater Anglia and South Western Railway are also warning of cancellations and disruption.

In the London area, both London Overground and TfL Rail are likely to be affected by cancellations. TfL is warning that those trains which do run could be overcrowded.

Some problems earlier this week were caused by the uncertainty of forecasts. Greater Anglia was criticised for withdrawing services on some routes in anticipation of snow which eventually fell further south, affecting Kent instead.

Network Rail said: “While there has been snow in parts of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, the anticipated heavy flurries have fallen further south in Kent, which is suffering from some of the road and rail issues we expected to deal with.”

Anglia managing director Meliha Duymaz said: “The forecasts all predicted heavy snow in our region, but for us, it has not been as bad as anticipated, with the latest radar imagery showing the worst of the snow has fallen around 20 miles [32km] further south east.  We are now working with our train operating partners to restore as many services as we can.”

Network Rail said if the depth of snow on a track is more than 30cm, only trains fitted with snowploughs can run.

There could be more to come. Further snow is predicted for many areas between now and Saturday, including in the far south west. Cornwall is said to be experiencing its heaviest snow for 40 years.

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