The UK's heatwave is sending commuter trains into meltdown

Catherine Neilan
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It's hot on them there tracks (Source: Getty)
The heat is playing havoc with commuter trains.
Network Rail has imposed speed restrictions on parts of the network between 11am this morning and 8pm this evening in an attempt to prevent train tracks from buckling as temperatures soar.
The bad news is, this is affecting pretty much all the major train providers including Abellio Greater Anglia, Chiltern Railways, First Great Western, Great Northern, London Midland, Northern Rail, Southeastern, Thameslink and Virgin Trains East Coast.
Here's what they are saying right now:


Trains running between London Bridge and Lewisham are running at a reduced speed, meaning trains could be “cancelled, delayed by up to 20 minutes or revised”.
“An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed,” the provider said.
Delays to services have been exacerbated by a bridge strike near London Bridge and a broken down train near Hayes earlier.
“We are sorry for the delay to your journey today,” the operator said.

Abellio Greater Anglia

Abellio has cancelled several services because of the speed restrictions.
Trains betweeen London Liverpool Street and Ipswich, Witham, Colchester and Southend Victoria have been cancelled as late as 8:22pm tonight. It has also altered a number of services including Liverpool Street to Colchester Town, Ipswich, Clacton, Braintree and Southminster.

Virgin Trains

Virgin has had to cancel 20 trains, which were due to run between London Kinsgs Cross and Leeds, because of speed restrictions being imposed on the east coast mainline by Network Rail.
In order to keep the majority of its services on track – or rather “to best manage the unavoidable delays” caused by this, Virgin has pulled several trains running this service until at least 7:45pm tonight.
Commuters are being advised they can get alternative trains or claim a refund.
“We are really sorry for the disruption this will cause to your journey,” Virgin said.
Speed restrictions mean delays on trains between Coventry and Birmingham, as well as between Motherwell and Lockerbie.

Thameslink and Great Northern trains

Services from King's Lynn, Cambridge, Peterborough, Hertford, Welwyn, Bedford, Brighton and Wimbledon are all currently suffering from minor delays because of speed restrictions affecting both Great Nothern routes and Thameslink services.
“Exceptionally hot weather conditions mean that speed restrictions may be imposed across the Great Northern network when temperatures reach their highest,” Thameslink said.
No alterations are currently in place.

First Great Western

Services operating between London Paddington Bourne End/Marlow are being affected by reduced speeds from Wednesday to Friday (3rd July). Customers using direct trains will need to change at Maidenhead for connecting services to Bourne End/Marlow.

Chiltern Railways

Trains to High Wycombe are running at a reduced speed “owing to poor rail conditions”, meaning trains are expected to be delayed by up to 10 minutes.

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