Stormy weather and the railway

6th March 2020

With storms Ciara, Dennis and Ellen causing chaos over the past few weeks, there has been a significant impact on travel industries across the country. For those relying on the railways during the adverse weather conditions, this can be particularly disruptive. But why do the storms cause so many problems and how can we make sure we make our important journeys during these times? We’re taking a closer look.


It’s easy to get frustrated when journeys are delayed. But storms can inflict serious damage to railway lines and quickly make them unsafe for travelling. Flooding, debris and strong winds are hugely problematic for rail.

From line blockages and failing power to flooding and landslides, it can take time to repair the damage. These repairs can be days, weeks or even months. In certain conditions, engineers will not be allowed to conduct repairs to protect their own safety.

What your rail company can do.

When trouble hits, your rail company can be one step ahead. With regular forecasts coming in, you can be ready to jump into action, delivering staff and equipment to the areas most in need day or night, rain or shine.

Whilst you can try and have engineers out as soon as possible, occasionally weather conditions are too dangerous. High winds mean engineers will not be able to work at height or operate particular machinery. Get your lines operating again as soon as possible and avoid disruption by making it easy for your passengers to report any issues they see, and for your customer service teams to get that information to the right people, fast.

What you can ask your passengers to do.

If passengers need to travel during any period of severe weather, there are certain actions they can take to help get things back on the right track.

For those living near railway lines in times of bad weather, make sure any loose garden furniture or items are secure and not likely to cause damage or obstructions on the nearby lines.

Ask them to keep a close eye on the weather forecast the night before or morning of their journey. Sometimes simply setting off earlier or leaving later will help them avoid the disruptions. Your train company can post regular updates on your websites or social media to stay in touch and keep your passengers as up to date as possible (read about why it’s important to manage your customer relationships using your CRM system here).

During particularly adverse weather conditions, trains might become more crowded than usual. In these instances, you may choose to make your ticket restrictions may become more flexible. If possible, it might be worth encouraging investing in a more flexible season ticket so your passengers can avoid the scrum.

As we approach spring and summer, hopefully the days of the winter storms are behind us for another year. Not that the warmer weather doesn’t pose it’s own challenges! Keeping your passengers up to date with any delays and disruptions is a crucial part of your customer service process. Using an intuitive CRM system means your passengers won’t have to miss a beat and can redirect their journeys accordingly. With a CRM, you can make sure your passengers are always where they need to be.

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