Trains will run at lower speeds tomorrow (25 July) in order to keep passengers safe in the record heat, Network Rail has warned.
Speed restrictions will be put in place from 12pm until 8pm between Euston and Rugby on the West Coast main line, and from Marylebone to Leamington Spa on the Chiltern line.
With UK temperature records set to be broken tomorrow (25 July), Network Rail has activated its extreme weather response teams in the North West and Central Region (Euston to Carlisle).
The hot weather, particularly direct sunlight, can cause track temperatures to rise to more than 50°C. Steel rails absorb heat easily and tend to hover around 20 degrees above the surrounding air temperature.
When steel becomes very hot it expands and rails can bend, flex and, in serious cases, buckle. As a precaution, trains must run at slower speeds.
Railway staff are ready for this challenge on the West Coast main line south of Crewe, in the West Midlands and on the Chiltern line.
James Dean, chief operating officer for North West and Central, 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 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 don’t get too parched, and always check before travelling so they know exactly what to expect.”
For more information on how Network Rail deals with the hot weather visit www.networkrail.co.uk/how-we-prevent-tracks-from-getting-too-hot/.
Passengers are advised to check before they travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk.