England

Storm Ciara: Flyaway trampolines cause rail delays

Trampoline on train track Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption A large trampoline blew on to the tracks at Bickley

Flyaway trampolines caused rail chaos when Storm Ciara blew them on to tracks across England.

All services were stopped between Bedford and Luton after a trampoline struck a train and reportedly became stuck in overhead wires.

Trains into London were delayed when trampolines flew on to lines at Bickley and Chelsfield.

Network Rail asked people living close to railway lines to fix trampolines to the ground to ensure passenger safety.

Image copyright Thameslink/@kisseswithamor
Image caption A trampoline hit a train near Luton

Steve White at Thameslink told the BBC there had been three trampolines on the network during Storm Ciara.

"I believe this trampoline [near Luton] broke up and deposited one part on the fast line overhead lines and other parts on the slow line," he said.

Owen Roffe tweeted that an announcement on the train told passengers a trampoline had got stuck in overhead wires.

A Network Rail spokesman said: "In particularly windy weather, our lineside neighbours are asked to help keep the railway free of any unexpected debris by tying down or clearing away garden furniture such as trampolines.

"This helps us ensure we can move passengers and freight as safely and reliably as possible during extreme weather."

Image copyright Southeastern
Image caption A trampoline was removed from train tracks at Chelsfield

RoSPA said trampolines should be stored safely "particularly during winter months when the wind can force a trampoline to become airborne".

"Tie down large trampolines - there are tether kits available that can be used for this purpose," it said.

"With smaller trampolines, flip them upside down.

"Remove safety netting from enclosure or cage frames to reduce the sail-like qualities of the cages during windy weather."

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