Feeds

National Rail website buried ahead of snow storm

Desperate commuters look to sky and see red

Boost IT visibility and business value

Commuters desperate to avoid spending the night in a railway station or being eaten by their snow-bound fellow commuters were left none the wiser if they went to the National Rail website this afternoon.

The site, operated by the Association of Train Operating Companies, is a clearing house for train service information in the UK.

This afternoon, nervous commuters were greeted with a reassuring 503 error message as they wondered when to make a bolt from work, before a southwards moving band of snow hits the South East and completes the smothering of the entire UK under an icy blanket.

"The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later," the site cheerily told travellers facing the UK's worst Siberian onslaught since the Big Freeze of 2009.

Some lucky punters were left contemplating a "light" version of the website. We called National Rail for an explanation. Like many of its customers, we're still waiting.

The site's stumbling status comes 11 months after it fell over during the UK's last brush with winter. That time, most of the train operating companies' own websites also keeled over due to the chilly conditions.

This time at least some of them appear to be up and running. Southwest Trains are still keeping stockbroker belt-bound passengers up to speed on when their first class carriages will be departing, while Southern Railways' site is able to tell commuters how to escape Wandsworth Common.

Elsewhere, the Daily Mail reports that hysterical Britons had started panic buying food, which we presume means that Whole Foods in Kensington has run out of crayfish sandwiches.

There were also reports that Inverness had been cut off from the South, according to The Guardian.

But worse than all of that, the bad weather has even hit filming in that there Weatherfield, with a Coronation Street spokeswoman telling the Press Association that filming had been suspended due to heavy snow.

It's understood that other soaps including Channel 4's Hollyoaks, based in Liverpool, and ITV's Emmerdale, based in Leeds, have also been forced to halt filming due to bad weather conditions. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.