Storm Ciara: Severe rail disruption likely as gales hit

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Trampoline on rail trackImage source, Network Rail
Image caption,
Damage to tracks and trains means many services will shutdown on Sunday

Train services face being severely disrupted over the weekend as rain and gales hit Wales.

Storm Ciara brought gusts of up to 75mph (121km/h) on Saturday - with rain and gales on Sunday.

The Met Office extended its yellow warning for wind on Saturday to cover most counties in north Wales and parts of Ceredigion and Powys.

Sunday's amber warning for wind has prompted train cancellations and ferry operators have cancelled services.

On the roads, the A55 Britannia Bridge, between Anglesey and the mainland, has been closed to high-sided vehicles, motorcyclists and cyclists, while a speed restriction of 30mph (50km/h) is in place for all other vehicles.

Meanwhile 112 homes in Builth Wells, Powys, were left without power on Saturday evening as winds increased.

Image caption,
A number of rail services across Wales will be affected

The storm means Wales fans heading back from the Dublin after the weekend's Six Nations clash could face problems getting home.

Officials from Natural Resources Wales said people living near the Welsh coast should be prepared for possible flooding and urged them check the latest alerts and warnings over the weekend.

"We are also warning people to avoid visiting the seafront due to the risk of being swept away by large waves or hit by wave and wind-blown debris," said NRW's Richard Preece.

"Flood water can also be extremely dangerous, and people should not attempt to walk or drive through it unless instructed by the emergency services."

Image source, Joann Randles
Image caption,
'Stay away' from exposed areas like Porthcawl's breakwater, say officials

Weather watchers have also been told to watch infamous waves at Porthcawl "safely from home", as the RNLI live stream from the Bridgend county town's breakwater.

"The sea is far more powerful than you think and your chances of survival are slim if you are dragged into the swell," warned Stephen Jones, from the volunteer-run lifesaving charity.

"We understand why people want to experience extreme weather, but it's not worth risking your life, so we strongly urge people to respect the water and watch from a safe distance."

In addition to the weather warnings for Saturday, between 12:00 and 23:59 GMT, a yellow rain warning has been issued for most of Wales from 00:00 on Sunday until 18:00.

The rain warning covers all of Wales, with the exception Pembrokeshire and Anglesey.

What to expect:


Image source, Met Office
  • Yellow wind warning for north Wales counties, from 12:00 to 23:59
  • Gusts will hit 75mph in some exposed coastal areas and in the Irish Sea
  • Counties included: Ceredigion, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Anglesey, Powys
  • Ferry services between Wales and Ireland may be subject to "severe disruption" between Saturday and Monday
  • Stena Line: Rosslare to Fishguard 08:00 and 18:10 services crossing cancelled
  • Stena Line: Fishguard to Rosslare 13:10 and 23:45 crossing cancelled
  • Irish Ferries: Rosslare to Pembroke 08:45 crossing cancelled - 20:45 cancelled
  • Irish Ferries: Pembroke to Rosslare 14:45 crossing cancelled
  • Cleddau Bridge, Pembrokeshire, will closed to high-sided vehicles from Saturday evening until Monday
  • Northern section of Barmouth promenade in Gwynedd closed from 17:00
  • Sea gates and water boards at Barmouth, Borth y Gest and Aberdaron will also be closed on Saturday


Image source, Met Office
  • Amber wind warning for all of Wales is in force from 08:00 until 21:00
  • Gusts could reach 70mph (113k/ph) in exposed areas
  • Yellow rain warning for all Wales, except Pembrokeshire and Anglesey
  • Up to 70mm (2.75in) of rain possible on higher ground
  • 100mm (4in) possible in some isolated locations
  • Flooding in affected areas "likely" says Met Office
  • Possible full closure of Cleddau Bridge, Pembrokeshire, between 10:00 and 13:00
  • A487 at Newgale, Pembrokeshire, likely to be closed from 05:00-08:00 and 16:45-19:45
  • Irish Ferries: Rosslare to Pembroke crossings cancelled
  • Parks in Cardiff could be locked

Rail disruption

Train services across Wales face severe disruption on Sunday, with Network Rail warning passengers: "Only travel by train this Sunday if absolutely necessary".

Transport for Wales trains, especially those in coastal areas, are being cancelled - with no services between Llandudno Junction in Conwy and stations to and from Holyhead on Anglesey.

No services will be operating on the Wales and Cross Border services, the Heart of Wales or Cambrian lines, with services into south west Wales terminating at Swansea.

Core Valley Lines services, and other valleys branch services will also be closed.

"We're expecting very stormy conditions, high tides and winds that have the potential to uproot trees and damage infrastructure," said Chris Pearce, head of operations at Network Rail Wales and Borders.

"The safety of our customers and colleagues is our absolute priority so there will be speed restrictions across our network, while some lines will not have any services at all."

Rail operators have also warned there will be no replacement bus services, and urged all passengers to check before travelling.

Some flights returning from Dublin, where Wales face Ireland on Saturday, could also faces delays or cancellations.

The storm has already forced the organisers of the Llanelli Half Marathon to postpone Sunday's event earlier in the week to give the 2,500 competitors sufficient warning.

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