Ophelia does her worst causing Luas and MER suspensions

Services on both Luas and the Manx Electric Railway were hit by ex-Hurricane Ophelia at the start of the week with no trams able to run for large periods of time, firstly due to safety fears and then because of damage.

With the storm coming west across the British Isles – although by the time it reached mainland Britain its strength had diminished significantly – it hit Ireland and the Isle of Man the hardest. In Dublin with schools closed and people advised not to venture out on Monday 16th October ahead of the worst of the storm hitting the decision was taken to suspend all services on Luas for the remainder of the day with trams starting to return to depot from 1000 and a complete suspension by midday. It was hoped that this would enable a full service to resume the following morning once the storm has subsided.

Unfortunately at approximately 1430 on 16th October the roof on Red Cow Depot suffering major damage. The section of roof affected was above the technical rooms which contains vital safety systems such as those which assist with overhead power and the AVLS (automatic vehicle location system). With these systems out of action it was not possible to safely run a service and as a result no services at all were able to operate on Luas throughout Tuesday 17th October. Repairs have been ongoing throughout the past day and it is now planned that a full service will resume from 0530 on Wednesday 18th October.

On the Isle of Man during October there are no Monday services so whilst the eye of the storm was passing there was nothing schedule to operate anyway but following Ophelia’s passing it wasn’t possible to run the scheduled timetable A on Tuesday 18th October. Again it is planned that normal services will resume on Wednesday 19th October. The Douglas Bay Horse Tramway was not scheduled to run throughout the storm whilst the Snaefell Mountain Railway remains closed.

Meanwhile in Wales services on the Great Orme Tramway were suspended early on Monday 16th October as a precaution but no other tramways in the UK reported any major disruption as a result of Ophelia.

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