Rail passengers urged not to travel today

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Train services have been disrupted as the effects of Storm Doris hit Lancashire.

Passengers were delayed after the roof of Preston Railway Station was damaged by Storm Doris early this afternoon.

Virgin Trains, which manages the station, has confirmed that platforms four and five at Preston have now been opened again.

However rail users are still being encouraged not to travel if at all possible.

In a statement Virgin Trains said: “Earlier today we temporarily closed part of Preston station due to storm damage to the roof and to ensure the safety of customers.

“Due to Storm Doris, our West Coast services are severely disrupted. We are strongly advising all customers not to travel today. Tickets for today will be accepted for journeys starting before 2pm tomorrow - Friday 24, or anytime on Saturday.

“We are aiming to return to a full service tomorrow on both routes. However this will depend upon weather conditions and we do expect trains to be busier than normal. Customers can check our website for the latest updates.”

The trains from Preston to Glasgow at 6.43pm and 7.15 have both been cancelled. However the 7.41pm Preston to Glagow train is currently running on time.

Train companies Northern, Merseyrail, Transpennine Express and Network Rail have also advised those with no choice to but travel to check beforehand on www.nationalrail.co.uk and to expect delays.

Hundreds of high wind-related incidents were being tackled today by Network Rail’s orange army engineers - from trampolines, chairs and trees blown on tracks to bags blowing on to overhead power lines.

Services across Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside were the worst affected.

The three train companies and Network Rail said in a combined message to customers: “Please only consider traveling today if it is absolutely necessary or to delay journeys until this evening. Train stations will be crowded and queueing systems may become necessary.

“Disruption is expected to continue for the rest of the day, with rail replacement buses running on certain routes. We advise that you only travel if necessary.”

For further information on services please visit: www.tpexpress.co.uk/; www.northernrailway.co.uk; www.merseyrail.org