East Coast Mainline to close on Tuesday due to extreme heat

People are being urged not to travel on Monday and Tuesday

By Stephen Briggs
Monday, 18th July 2022, 8:51 am
Updated Monday, 18th July 2022, 10:32 am

The East Coast Mainline – which links London Kings Cross with the north of the country, including a stop at Peterborough – will be closed tomorrow (Tuesday) due to the extreme heat forecast.

A spokesman for LNER trains said no services south of York and Leeds would be running on Tuesday.

Govia Thameslink said there would be no services at all to or from Kings Cross – with no trains running in Peterborough, Kings Lynn, Cambridge, London and Great Northern Suburban area.

There will also be a limited service today.

Govia Thameslink Railway Chief Operating Officer Angie Doll said: “Please think carefully about your options and travel only if absolutely necessary on Monday and Tuesday.

“With the Met Office issuing warnings for extreme heat, speed restrictions are being put in place across our network to keep trains and passengers safe.

“This means we’ll have far fewer services for people to catch and there will also be at very real risk of substantial disruption. Even if you are able to travel in the morning, you may need to consider alternative ways to get home as a result.”

Peterborough Railway Station

Jake Kelly, Network Rail’s System Operator group director, said: “Rail passengers in England and Wales should only travel if necessary on Monday and Tuesday as there will be delays and cancellations to train services due to the unprecedented heat we’re expecting.

“The wellbeing of our passengers is our first priority so we’re asking all passengers who decide to travel to take time to prepare before leaving the house. Remember to bring a water bottle with you, along with whatever else you need to keep yourself well in the heat. Water bottles can be refilled for free at most Network Rail’s managed stations.

“Journeys will take significantly longer and delays are likely as speed restrictions are introduced to keep passengers and railway staff safe, so make sure to allow considerably more time to complete your journey and be prepared for very hot conditions.

“We’re working closely with MetDesk to monitor forecasts and adapt our plans, and with our train operator colleagues to make sure we can get passengers who need to travel to their destinations safely.”

Network Rail’s specialist teams are in action preparing for the heatwave conditions and response teams will be deployed across the nation to mitigate the impact of these extreme conditions where possible, but passengers are likely to experience disruption if current forecasts are realised.

Steel rails absorb heat easily and tend to be 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.

The overhead electric lines which power trains in some parts of the country are also susceptible to faults in extreme temperatures when the steel wires overheat, which can cause them to hang too low and increase the risk of getting caught on passing trains and knocking out the electricity supply.

Passengers are advised to check before they travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk or with their train operators.