Commuters Urged To Leave Work Early Or Avoid Rush Hour Due To Heat
Today is expected to smash records as the hottest day in Britain since records began, reaching 39C in some parts of the southeast.
People travelling to and from the capital are being urged to avoid travelling if they altogether, as blanket speed restrictions will be in place due to fear of buckling on the tracks.
Rails in direct sunlight can reach up to 50C and make them at danger of moving under weight.
Network Rail's Nick King explained: "Keeping passengers safe and moving are our top priorities during this heatwave.
"That's why we sometimes have to put speed restrictions on to prevent our rails - that can be over 20 degrees hotter than air temperatures - from buckling, which can derail a train and cause huge delays."
:warning:REMINDER - Disruption into London today as slowdowns in place. Please consider if your journey's essential & check @nationalrailenq
In a #heatwave steel tracks expand and buckle under stress, causing further delays. Slower trains apply less force, reducing the chances of this. pic.twitter.com/o1cgLCVzQs
- Network Rail (@networkrail) July 25, 2019
This will mean mass delays and cancellations, causing trains to be packed to the brim with commuters. Not what you want in 39C heat, is it?
Southeastern and Thameslink have issued similar warnings, while London North Eastern Railway have advised customers against travelling all together and East Coast Main Line warning delays are expected between Peterborough and London King's Cross.
Southeastern tweeted: "We'll be operating a significantly reduced service because of the forecast hot weather and speed restrictions that will need to be imposed," adding "our advice is to avoid travelling on Thursday."
We are operating a significantly reduced service today because of the forecast hot weather and speed restrictions that need to be imposed. Online journey planners are up to date so please check your journey at: https://t.co/8Nu2xXhNWJ #SEHotWeather pic.twitter.com/AnV4boZsWt
- Southeastern (@Se_Railway) July 25, 2019
Thameslink said: "Network Rail have put a number of speed restrictions in place due to the hot weather conditions to ensure that trains can run safely. Services running on the network may be subject to delays as a result."
Britain and other countries across Europe are expected to have record-breaking runs this week. Chief Meteorologist Frank Saunders of the Met Office said: "There is a real possibility of records being broken this week, not only for July but also all-time records.
"The weather setup is broadly similar to the pattern that brought high temperatures to much of continental Europe at the end of June."
Hear that boss? Probably best if we leave at lunchtime...
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