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Winter train travel tips

A train in the snow at Harrogate train station, near York

The run up to Christmas is a wonderful and exciting time for many of us. But, with this excitement comes a blast of cold weather and unfavourable travel conditions – which could well impact our journeys to work and from our homes.

Although the British weather is largely unpredictable, if it does look like we are expecting a spell of disruptive weather, there are precautions you can take to try and lessen the impact on your day to day life and keep safe when travelling.

If you are travelling by train in the lead up to Christmas, then take a look at our winter travel tips so that you are as well prepared as you can be.

Check for snow and ice warnings

Our British winters generally feature a lot of snow and ice around December to March. This can cause issues for trains with the danger of steel lines freezing or snow and ice becoming lodged on the tracks. Although we plan ahead to minimise disruptions, severe weather conditions may mean that special measures need to be taken, which could affect your journey.

If you have train travel plans in place and the weather looks like it might take a turn for the worst, you can check our disruptions page of the website, which will list all known issues across all our Grand Central services. Be sure to check the night before your journey if you are travelling early morning, or in the few hours before your departure time for any updates. You can also download the Grand Central app for live updates from all train companies on your phone.

Dress up warm

It goes without saying really, but if you are planning to travel by train in the heart of winter, then you will want to wrap up warm. Standing on the platform and changing trains can be chilly business so pop on a thick coat, scarf and gloves to ensure you stay snug.

If you think you might get too warm mid-way through your journey, then wear layers so that you can remove and replace items depending on your body temperature.

Take care on the station

Icy conditions can be dangerous, especially on train platforms and station carparks. Make sure you wear shoes with a good grip that can cope with frosty grounds, and never run on a platform as there could be hidden black ice which you can’t see.

Also, be careful coming back to your car in the carpark after a long journey as your car may have frozen over and will need de-icing before you start your onward journey. Make sure you carry de-icer in the boot of the car throughout the winter period so that you are well prepared.

Keep nourished

When it’s cold and dark, our bodies tend to lose energy quicker, meaning we become more tired and our immune systems become more susceptible to bugs and viruses. Stay well by keeping yourself hydrated when travelling as well as eating healthy and nutritious snacks along the way.

A flask of hot vegetable soup will keep you warm and fulfilled for your journey, and items containing vitamin D like oranges, mangoes and pineapples will all help to give your immune system a boost to help ward off those nasties in the air.

Wherever you are travelling to this winter, we wish you safe and happy travels.

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