Tell us quickly if snow will cancel our journey!

28 July 2015

Ever had your train journey disrupted by extreme weather? Transport Focus is helping the rail industry to better understand what passengers need and want when there’s extreme weather.

New research, Reacting to extreme weather on the railways, considers what passengers expect from train companies when the country is battered by extreme weather, whether it be snow, wind, rain or anything else.

Transport Focus recommends that the rail industry should:

  • provide timely, accurate information so passengers can make informed decisions about their journeys
  • be transparent – help passengers understand why timetable changes and service suspensions have been made
  • demonstrate that train companies and Network Rail are doing their best on behalf of passengers, despite the weather.

Anthony Smith, Transport Focus’s chief executive, said:

“For the passenger stuck on an icy platform, wondering whether their train will turn up, this research shows the importance of excellent information to help passengers make informed decisions.

“Passengers need to be able to trust their train company and believe that it is on their side.

“It is essential that the recommendations of this report, including recognising passengers’ desire for a normal service during extreme weather, are put into action as quickly as possible.”

Chris Burchell, National Task Force chair, said:

“Our top priority is always the safety of passengers and staff. In extreme weather our main concern is to get people home safely.

“Over the last few years, the rail industry has made big improvements to how it deals with weather disruption. We are increasingly better prepared, continuing to work towards a more resilient railway and will always try to provide the best service we can for passengers against the forecast weather conditions we face.


“This report will help us to understand how we can better meet our customers’ needs and expectations on the rare occasions when extreme weather makes it impossible to run normal services.”

This research also found that:

  • that passengers’ expectations are high
  • good information has a vital role to play in meeting passengers’ expectations when it is impossible to deliver a normal service
  • the research reveals more about the question of trust in the relationship between passengers and the rail industry, and how critical good communication is in achieving it.

Click Reacting to extreme weather on the railways to download the report.

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