Buckling fears shut East Coast Main Line

Rail sensors measure the temperature of the tracks

With record high temperatures forecast for the UK today and tomorrow (18/19 July 2022), with temperatures expected to reach 41 degrees C, there are fears for infrastructure resilience.

Network Rail said that the East Coast Main Line was not designed for such temperatures. It is therefore cshutting services between London and Leeds/York from noon until 8pm on Tuesday 19th July, with a skeleton service running in the morning.

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

Network Rail operations director Sam MacDougall 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.”

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