Rail passengers suffer disruption as winds hit 115mph

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Many passengers found their journeys disrupted on Thursday as Storm Pia battered parts of the UK, with gusts hitting 115mph.

James Manning/PA Wire

Damage to the overhead electric wires between Milton Keynes and Watford meant all lines between those stations were blocked, affecting Avanti West Coast services between London Euston and Scotland.

TransPennine Express urged passengers to avoid travelling to or from Edinburgh all day, and to only make journeys to and from Carlisle and Manchester, Liverpool and Preston after 3pm.

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Meanwhile, a fallen tree blocked a train line between Ascot, Berkshire and Bagshot, Surrey. South Western Railway (SWR) announced cancellations, delays or alterations to services until 5pm.

A yellow warning for wind, stretching north from Birmingham to the Shetland Islands and including Northern Ireland, ended at 3pm.

But another yellow alert was issued for snow and ice across Shetland from Thursday and into the weekend, with possible accumulations of 2-5cm of snow.

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Gusts of 115mph were recorded at Cairngorm Summit, winds of 81mph were recorded at Brizlee Wood, near Alnwick, Northumberland and at Baltasound on Shetland, with gusts of more than 70mph recorded elsewhere in the North East of England.

Network Rail is preparing to launch its festive engineering works, which will cause disruption to journeys.

London Paddington will be closed between Sunday and December 27, meaning no mainline trains will serve Heathrow Airport during that period.

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London King’s Cross will also be closed on Christmas Eve.

Outside of the capital, an engineering project near Southampton will cause some disruption to services, as will work to build the new Cambridge South station.

No trains will operate on Christmas Day, while a very limited service will run on Boxing Day.

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