Severe weather conditions
Find out why severe weather conditions, such as snow or falling leaves, may affect your journey…
Got a question? We can help...
Why do snow and ice cause train delays?
Here in the UK we use the “third rail” system to power our trains. Snow and ice on the line makes it difficult for trains to draw power from the third rail. When this happens, trains can become stuck or "fail".
In very cold weather, we try to stop ice forming on the rails by running de-icer trains and empty or ‘ghost’ trains through the night.
We know you need to get to work, but sometimes it’s just not safe to run our trains. We take guidance on this from Network Rail, which manages the UK's railway infrastructure.
Read more about how Network Rail manages snow and ice.
Why do leaves on the line cause train delays?
It’s the announcement everyone dreads, but leaves on the line are a real problem every autumn. Services can be delayed because leaf mulch makes the tracks slippery and drivers have to brake earlier and accelerate slower.
To keep the lines as clear as possible and keep you moving, Network Rail has cut back tonnes of vegetation and has special teams trackside. However, when leaf fall is very heavy there can be disruption. If Network Rail say they expect problems, we’ll run a reduced timetable, also known as a leaf fall timetable.
Read about how we handle delays caused by leaves, flooding and more.
Can I claim compensation for weather disruption?
Can I use one of your High Speed trains if there is major disruption?
Yes, in certain circumstances you can use a High Speed service with a non-High Speed ticket. We’ll let you know which tickets will be accepted and for how long.
This might apply when:
- all services are suspended, or there is a line closure, on the Chatham mainline between Faversham and either Victoria or Charing Cross and Cannon Street in either direction
- all services are suspended, or there is a line closure, on one of the Ashford mainlines, affecting trains via Tonbridge or Maidstone East in either direction
- there is severe disruption to our network because of flooding, heavy snow, landslips, etc