Rail passengers warned tracks could buckle in heatwave with services cancelled

Rail passengers have been warned that the coming days could see major disruption to services due to the heatwave,

Temperatures as high as 37°C are expected in London early next week, and hot weather could cause track temperatures to reach up to 50°C.

This risks them bending, flexing and, in some cases even buckling from the heat, with direct sunlight a particular risk.

Trains will accordingly be told to go slower to put less strain on them, but even then, problems can occur.

Avanti West Coast, which runs services between London Euston and Scotland, warned passengers to plan ahead.

They said there could be cancellations at short notice and extended journey times.

The company tweeted today that weekend services on July 16 and July 17 may be cancelled at short notice.

There will be disruption to services over the next few days due to a shortage of train crew, and extreme weather conditions:

⚠️On Sat 16 & Sun 17 July services may be cancelled at short notice.
⚠️On Mon 18 & Tue 19 July amended timetables and extended journey times are expected. pic.twitter.com/q3UPLADtbh

It also warned that services on July 18 and July 19 will be subject to amended timetables and extended journey times.

Steel rails absorb heat easily and tend to hover around 20 degrees above the surrounding air temperature, according to Network Rail.

Network Rail’s west coast south route director James Dean said: ‘Keeping passengers moving is always our top priority. But we want people to be prepared.

‘If the soaring temperatures do lead to us having to put in place slower speeds for safety reasons, please bear with us while our engineers work to fix the problem. It may mean some journeys take longer.

‘For those who must travel by rail, we’d remind people to carry some water with them so they can stay hydrated and always check before travelling so they know exactly what to expect.’

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