Posted: Sat 16th Jul 2022

Train cancellations announced for Monday and Tuesday due to hot weather

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Jul 16th, 2022

Network Rail and Transport for Wales (TfW) are urging customers to only make essential journeys on Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 July, with record breaking temperatures on the way

The Met Office has issued a rare amber warning for extreme heat from Sunday (17 July) with temperatures expected to reach the high thirties in some parts of Wales on Monday and Tuesday.

Over the border a red warning – meaning a risk to life – is in place for large parts of England, including the West Midlands and North West England.

The currently forecasted temperatures will see the introduction of speed restrictions on railway lines across the country to ensure the safe running of trains, which means journeys will take longer.

TfW has announced that services on routes within the areas covered by the red weather warning will be cancelled. The routes affected include:

– Shrewsbury-Birmingham
– Chester-Liverpool
– Chester-Manchester
– Chester-Crewe
– Crewe-Manchester
– Conwy Valley Line

Network Rail’s extreme weather action teams (EWATs) will be using track-side probes and mini weather stations installed around the network to monitor conditions and working closely with weather specialists to adapt plans.

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.

TfW is working to provide additional capacity on key services to avoid overcrowding, but services are expected to be very busy – particularly to coastal destinations such as the North Wales coast resorts, West Wales and Barry Island, along the Heart of Wales Line due to the Royal Welsh Show, and in South Wales due to university graduations in Cardiff and Swansea – and conditions onboard are likely to be very uncomfortable in the extreme weather.

Passengers are strongly advised to check before travelling in case of further changes to the timetable or on-the-day disruption. Passengers should not travel if they feel unwell, and should stay hydrated by taking a bottle of water while travelling.

Free water refill points are available at Llandudno, Machynlleth and Cardiff Central stations

Network Rail and TfW are working closely to ensure the safety of passengers needing to travel.

Nick Millington, acting route director at Network Rail Wales and Borders, said: “Rail passengers in Wales should only travel if necessary on Monday and Tuesday as there may be delays and cancellations to train services due to the extreme heat we’re expecting.

“The wellbeing of our passengers is our first priority so we’re asking everyone who decides 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.

“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.”

Colin Lea, TfW’s Planning and Performance Director, said: “The extreme weather that we are set to see on 18 and 19 July is likely to pose a risk of serious illness or danger to life, particularly in the West Midlands and North West England where temperatures will be at their highest.

“We strongly advise customers to carefully consider whether their journey is necessary, check before travelling in case of changes to services, and allow more time for any journeys they need to make.”

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