South Western Railway Issues Heatwave Warning

Service reliability and passenger comfort likely to be affected

Hot weather can impact train reliability. Picture: South Western Railway


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Very hot weather is predicted across the weekend and into next week prompting South Western Railway (SWR) to issue a warning to passengers.

It is possible that the heat might affect both the reliability of the service and passenger comfort.

The train company says that on warm days rails in direct sunshine can be as much as 20 degrees centigrade above air temperature. As rails are made from steel, they expand as they heat up and are subject to strong compression. Because of this speed restrictions can be imposed to trains which may cause delays.

Other risks from the high temperatures include the possibility of line side fires and buckling of the tracks.

Network Rail engineers will be monitoring rail temperatures around the network. Services may be altered so that trains can be used to inspect the line and rapid response staff will be deployed across our network ready to act if poor rail conditions are reported. There are no speed restrictions are currently in place.

The company is also advising passengers to carry water with them particularly when pregnant and not to travel if they feel unwell. If you are taken ill on a journey you are advised to get off the train and the next stop and seek help from staff.

London Waterloo has a free bottle refill with fresh water on the balcony opposite platforms 1 and 2.

Most of SWR trains have air conditioning but the company says it is still worthwhile carrying a fan.

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July 8, 2022

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