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Storms herald cooler temperatures after hottest July day

Cooler temperatures are forecast after thunderstorms and heavy downpours hit parts of Britain after the hottest July day on record.

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Extreme heat could disrupt trains, Network Rail warns

Tracks can buckle in intense heat Credit: Chris Radburn / PA Archive

With temperatures set to soar into the mid 30s this week, train companies are warning that the heat could interfere with Britain's rail network.

Commuters are being told to check their journeys ahead of time for ristricted services, as the heat is predicted to get so fierce that it could buckle rails.

"As rails are made out of steel, they expand as they heat up and are subject to strong compression," Network Rail said on its website.

"This expansion has to be managed to reduce the risk of track buckling. If the track does buckle, the line must be closed and the track repaired before services can resume, causing considerable disruption."

First Great Western services in the Thames Valley area will be subject to speed restrictions from midday to 8pm today - meaning there will be fewer fast trains.

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