Storm Eunice is causing UK-wide travel disruption as the country is battered by winds of up to 100mph.
GWR, Great Anglia and Southeastern have all suspended all services for the rest of the day; as have South Western, Chiltern Railways, and the Heathrow and Stansted Express.
In the capital, the London Underground could grind to a halt as extreme weather has affected all but two lines on the Transport for London (TfL) network.
Meanwhile, all trains from Euston station have been cancelled.
A red weather warning is now in place across various parts of the country, with turbulent winds causing havoc for pilots trying to land at Heathrow airport; earlier today, London City Airport suspended all flights.
Train operators and ferry firms are also warning people not to attempt to travel today. All rail services in Wales are suspended for the entire day, with disruption to services expected to continue into the weekend.
Rail passengers who do try to make journeys face much slower trips, with emergency speed restrictions in place and sharply reduced services.
On the Irish Sea, some ferries have been cancelled amid the wild weather.
What it’s like for the pilot landing a plane in high winds
Today saw hundreds of thousands of Brits utterly spellbound by the sight of aircraft struggling to land at Heathrow airport amid brutal winds, courtesy of Storm Eunice.
Big Jet TV, which livestreamed the landings and “go-arounds” (when landing wasn’t an option), attracted nearly 200,000 viewers at one point, with the UK temporarily turned into a nation of avid planespotters.
Pilots garnered new-found respect as footage showed aircraft swaying dramatically in extreme winds.
But just how difficult is it to land in high winds as a pilot? And do these weather conditions ever mean a flight is in danger?
The Independent spoke to British Airways’ Chief Pilot Training, Rich Allen-Williams, to find out:
‘Landing in high winds, while more challenging than in calm conditions, is regularly practised by pilots in the simulator,’ says BA’s chief pilot
The day the British public became planespotters
As well as sending wheelie bins flying and cancelling a huge portion of the country’s trains, Storm Eunice has also kickstarted a new social media trend: respect for pilots’ skills.
Thousands of “civilians” joined the usual pack of AVgeeks in watching planes wobble and sway, often coming in diagonally to land on the tarmac at Heathrow, thanks to everyone’s favourite new channel: Big Jet TV.
On it, host Jerry Dyer provides colourful commentary, often shouting “Bosh!” as an aircraft’s wheels meet the runway. Today he and his community of commenters were full of praise and admiration for the pilots behind the controls of huge jets coming in amid winds of up to 90mph.
Read the full story:
All it took was a severe storm for regular Brits join the nation’s AVgeeks in obsessing over landings at Heathrow
Will trains be running tomorrow amid Storm Eunice chaos?
Storm Eunice has whipped across the country as promised, leaving travel chaos in her wake.
Severe disruptions have occurred across the UK’s transport network, with multiple train lines suspended, the London Underground experiencing severe delays, and some major stations completely closed.
All trains from Euston Station in the capital are currently cancelled, while all rail services in Wales have been called off for the entire day amid high-speed winds.
But which trains have been cancelled so far - and will disruption continue into tomorrow? Read our explainer on what we know so far:
Today has seen rail services disrupted across the UK
Southern/Thameslink/Great Northern expecting Saturday disruption
Rail operators Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern say they are expecting disruption into Saturday 19 February.
A statement to National Rail reads: “Whilst Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink are working hard with Network Rail to reopen the network following Storm Eunice, they expect disruption on Saturday. Please check before you travel and avoid travelling on Saturday morning where you can. Will be updating with additional travel advice for Saturday during the afternoon and evening.”
“Please be aware that engineering works will affect journeys on Saturday and Sunday, and also some journeys next week. These will include major works which will close the railway between Three Bridges and Brighton/Lewes.”
The operators are offering fee-free refunds on today’s tickets, or customers can use them on a Sunday or Monday service instead.
Port of Dover reopens
Britain’s busiest ferry port has reopened. “Dover is now open to shipping and some ferry services have resumed,” the Kent port said in a tweet.
All sailings to and from Calais and Dunkerque were suspended in late morning.
“The port was temporarily closed to shipping due to adverse weather conditions caused by storm units and concerns over customer and staff safety the port and ferry operators will now continue to work together to ensure that services are running with minimal disruption.
But travellers are warned: “There may be initial delays to services as they resume.”
Earlier, the port had said: “We strongly advise our customers NOT to travel to the Port of Dover today.”
Nearby at Folkestone, the Eurotunnel vehicle shuttle to Calais is operating with some delays.
“We are experiencing some technical problems due to the weather conditions but we are working hard to fix this quickly,” passengers are told.
More than 117,000 still watching flights land in high winds
More than 117,000 people are currently glued to international flights landing at Heathrow Airport .
Host Jerry Dyer films the landings with colourful commentary, and is currently covering the last few daylight planes of the day, waiting for a 747 arrival before he wraps up proceedings.
Plenty of aviation neophytes joined the BJTV community of fast-paced commenters to watch the footage, many of them getting a shout-out from Jerry himself.
Earlier today the channel saw 176,000 viewers tune in,
“It’s all a little bit overwhelming today folks, but it’s great that we can all be part of it - that’s what it’s all about,” said Jerry, before shouting “Phwoar, fair play, swung that one!” at a BA aircraft coming in to land.
Avanti West Coast services cancelled
Avanti West Coast has cancelled all of its services for the remainder of Friday.
“Due to multiple weather-related incidents around the network, all Avanti West Coast services are now cancelled for the rest of Friday 18 February. Please do not come to the station,” reads a tweet from the operator.
“Tickets for Friday 18 February will be valid for Saturday 19, Sunday 20, Monday 21 February.”
“Alternatively, customers can claim a full refund for their ticket.”
Here’s everything we know so far about today’s UK train cancellations:
As a red weather warning is issued for parts of the country, which train operators are running a reduced service?
Stansted Express suspended for rest of day
The Stansted Express has suspended services for the remainder of Friday.
“IMPORTANT - Stansted Express services are now entirely suspended. A break in train services is being taken for Network Rail staff to remove trees and repair the infrastructure caused by #StormEunice before we are able to run a service,” reads a 3pm tweet from the operator.
Train services running across the whole Greater Anglia network are also suspended, with disruption until further notice.
This is while the company works to clear the debris and obstructions from the network.
Southeastern suspends all trains
Southeastern has paused all trains on its network while workers clear the debris caused by Storm Eunice and today’s high winds.
In a National Rail update, it called the process an “immense challenge” and said it will offer refunds on any tickets already bought for today.
“Due to a large number of trees falling on the railway, the entire Southeastern network is now closed. DO NOT TRAVEL,” read the update.
“Trees are continuing to fall on our network and it’s proving an immense challenge for Network Rail to find and remove them all.
“Southeastern and Network Rail are reviewing incidents on each of Southeastern lines, to see if and when services can be reintroduced. However, there will continue to be significant disruption even if this happens and the advice remains not to travel.”
South Western suspends all trains
A National Rail update reads: “South Western Railway are currently experiencing high winds across the network, with some exposed areas facing gusts of 70mph or more as the storm progresses.
“Following multiple incidents across the network all South Western Railway services, including the Island Line, have been suspended until further notice. Please do not travel at this time.”
South Western tickets are currently being accepted on Southern trains at no extra cost.
If you can postpone until tomorrow, your Friday ticket will be accepted on South Western services on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 February.
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