HS2

26.06.18

UK’s railways threaten to buckle as temperatures soar

Railways across the country have been marred by delays and cancellations due to railway lines buckling as temperatures are sky-high in the midst of a heatwave hitting the UK this week.

During abnormally-high temperatures the steel rails are vulnerable to expand and, if not carefully monitored, can buckle causing travel disruption.

Network Rail is introducing slower ‘heat speeds’ on some routes from 12pm to 8pm today to accommodate the spike in temperature across the UK, adding that passengers should be aware of potential disruptions and to check ahead before setting off for rail journeys.

Buckled Lines c Network RailLines near Glasgow buckled due to the heat yesterday. Image credit: Network Rail

Monday was the hottest day of the year so far in the UK, with temperatures reaching as high as 30°C in London— and high pressure is predicted to linger over the country for the rest of the week.

Amongst the fortifications to protect lines from the heat, Network Rail has installed mini weather-stations and track-side probes to monitor local conditions, painted parts of the rail white so they absorb less heat, and is continually working with specialist weather forecasters to make plans and take action to prevent rails from buckling.

Thousands of passengers faced delays and cancellations on Monday evening after signalling failures caused by hot weather resulted in disruption from lines between London Euston and King’s Cross stations, whilst areas around Hertfordshire also suffered major delays.

Scotland also suffered rail frustration as delays on ScotRail lines through North Queensferry caused services to be interrupted.

Andy Thomas, managing director of England and Wales at Network Rail, said: “On very sunny days, rails in direct sunshine can be as much as 20°C above air temperature causing the steel to expand markedly and could, if not carefully monitored and action taken, buckle causing travel disruption.

“Our engineers and specialist extreme weather teams are monitoring track-side temperatures and vulnerable locations and will, if necessary, introduce temporary speed restrictions during the hottest part of the day to keep trains running, albeit more slowly than normal.”

Temperatures are set to be higher than Brazil and Athens this week.

Enjoying RTM? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Image credit: Network Rail

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Alstom set to purchase Bombardier Transportation

18/09/2020Alstom set to purchase Bombardier Transportation

Alstom’s move to takeover Bombardier Transportation has progressed following the announcement that Alstom has signed the sale and purchase ... more >
Flood-damaged Edinburgh-Glasgow line to reopen

18/09/2020Flood-damaged Edinburgh-Glasgow line to reopen

The Edinburgh-Glasgow, via Falkirk High, railway line will reopen for passengers on Monday (21st Sept.) Network Rail engineers have worked t... more >
East Coast Main Line: £216.2m contract to increase power supply

18/09/2020East Coast Main Line: £216.2m contract to increase power supply

Following a £216.2m contract awarded by the Rail Electrification Alliance, The East Coast Main Line Power Supply Upgrade can move forward i... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

29/06/2020On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

Following an independent audit, Sulzer’s Nottingham Service Centre has been accepted as part of the rail industry supplier approval scheme (RISAS). The accreditation reinforces the high-quality standards that are maintained by Sulzer’s network of independent repair facilities across the UK and further afield in its global network. ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >
Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

02/07/2019Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

The TCR Midlands conference is only days away and tickets are going fast for the sector event of the year at the Vox Conference Centre in Birming... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he wo... more >