Train operators cancel routes and reduce timetable as temperatures rise

Greater Anglia is one of the operators reducing its services to prepare for the high temperatures

Train operators across the region are asking passengers to avoid travelling by rail during the very high temperatures today and tomorrow.

Network Rail is imposing speed restrictions in a bid to protect the rail infrastructure from damage.

There are fears that buckled rails, sagging overhead lines or other major faults could block lines completely and cause severe delays in the extreme high temperatures.

Many journeys are expected to take longer, as trains will be travelling at slower speeds than usual, and service alterations will take place on many routes.

Passengers are warned to expect widespread disruption and short-notice cancellations, especially from the middle of the day onwards when the hottest temperatures occur.

Great Northern had already made the decision to cancel its services on Tuesday.

In a tweet it said: "On Tuesday 19th July, no services will run to or from Kings Cross and Moorgate. This includes services to/from Peterborough, Stevenage, Cambridge, Hertford North and Welwyn Garden City."

"A limited service is expected to run between Cambridge and Kings Lynn, but this will be the only service in the area on Tuesday"

Greater Anglia has issued notices of the changes it is making:

A reduced service will operate on the Norwich-London Liverpool Street and Cambridge-London Liverpool Street main lines and on the Southend-London Liverpool Street route.

A shuttle service will operate on the Harwich-Manningtree, Braintree-Witham, Southminster-Wickford and Clacton/Walton/Colchester Town-Colchester branch lines to a normal frequency, but without direct services to/from London.

A normal timetable is currently planned for regional services between Norwich and Sheringham, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Cambridge/Stansted Airport; between Ipswich and Lowestoft, Felixstowe and Cambridge and on the Marks Tey-Sudbury line.

The Ipswich to Peterborough service will terminate and start at Ely between 12.00 and 20.00.

The Stansted Express service between Stansted Airport and London is likely to remain half-hourly but journeys will take longer.

Greater Anglia managing director Jamie Burles said: “We are very sorry to be disrupting our customers’ travel plans, but the safety of our customers and rail staff is of paramount importance.

“Our trains will be running at lower speeds because we want to minimise the risk of heat-related damage to the railway tracks and signals, which could then cause huge delays in record-breaking, sweltering temperatures putting our passengers at risk of falling ill due to the heat.