Red weather warning – East Coast Main Line to close

Red weather warning – East Coast Main Line to close

Published 17 July 2022 | Average read time
3 min read
Stories Stories

Due to the red weather warning we must close the East Coast Main Line on Tuesday afternoon for all locations between London King’s Cross and York and Leeds.

We are warning you to not travel on Tuesday 19 July.

The closure will be in place from 12:00 until 20:00 with a skeleton service running in the morning. It comes amid forecasts of record temperatures and the declaration of a national emergency early next week.

A combination of extremely high local forecast temperatures and temperatures well in excess of those for which the infrastructure is designed for on the East Coast Main Line has led to this decision.

This means many train companies will not run any services and others will be very limited. We’re asking you to re-plan your journey for another day where possible or get a refund.

Conditions on other routes will be closely monitored with further changes to service possible.

Additional response staff will be out on the network to respond to incidents, but the heat makes working conditions challenging for them too.

Sam MacDougall, operations director for Network Rail, said: “Closing the line to traffic is always a last resort but it is the right thing to do to keep people safe on Tuesday given the unprecedented heatwave forecast. The forecast temperatures are well above those which our infrastructure is designed, and safety must come first.

“On Monday we are reducing the speed at which trains can run which will limit the number of trains running and extend journey times significantly so we’re asking passengers to only travel if absolutely necessary. 

“The best way to keep everyone safe and prevent passengers from becoming stranded on trains in the extraordinary heat is to proactively close the East Coast Main Line routes south of York and Leeds during the very hottest temperatures. I am sorry for the disruption this will cause.”

Jason Webb, director of customer information at trade body Rail Delivery Group, said: “These are extreme temperatures and while the whole industry is pulling together to deliver the best possible service under the circumstances, we must ask people to only travel if absolutely necessary.

“If you have no choice but to travel on lines that are open, please take all sensible precautions to keep yourself safe and well, like bringing water for your journey.

“If your train is disrupted and you choose not to travel then you are eligible for a fee free refund. Some operators will also offer customers the ability to travel either Wednesday or Thursday if they prefer to delay their travel – please check with your operator. We are sorry for the disruption caused.”

Remember to drink plenty of water during this hot weather if you absolutely have to travel on other lines.

You can fill up your reusable water bottle at one of the free cold-water fountains at Britain’s biggest railway stations.

Very bent rail on a hot day with two track workers in the background.
Extreme heat can cause the rail to expand, meaning it can bend and buckle, making it unsafe to run trains

Read more:

How we prevent tracks from getting too hot

Why rails buckle in Britain

Climate change and the impact of weather on the network