Exclusive: UK heatwave created worst travel chaos so far this year as Southern, Northern Rail and Abellio named worst culprits

 
Catherine Neilan
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Commuters weren't the only ones overheating this week - the UK's train system went into meltdown (Source: Getty)
If you found yourself getting hot under the collar over this week's heatwave-induced train meltdown, it now seems entirely justified. Figures suggest it was the worst day of the year so far for cancellations and claimable delays.
Data compiled by DelayRepay.net shows that there were nearly 1,050 journeys that commuters could make a claim against on 1st July as a result of the heat. That's nearly double the second-worst day this year, when fallen trees on the line around Forest Hill caused commuter chaos and more than 660 delayed or cancelled trains.
And there are no prizes for guessing who was the worst culprit this time around.
Southern Rail was responsible for 230 trains that were either significantly delayed or cancelled altogether.
The next operator down, Northern Rail, was responsible for 101 late or cancelled services, while Abellio Greater Anglia came in third place with 63 journeys affected.
Network Rail had imposed speed restrictions across much of the UK's rail network as rising temperatures increased the possiblity of tracks buckling. As a result, several services were cancelled to keep as many trains running more-or-less on time as possible.
DelayRepay.net's Martin Swanson told City A.M.: “The heatwave has caused the highest level of disruption across the network we have seen during 2015.
“We expect to see a significant spike in the number of passengers applying for compensation - even higher than the Forest Hill event in early June.”
A Network Rail spokeswoman declined to comment on specific operators, but said: "While Wednesday was a tough day for many as we battled the hottest day of the year and the hottest July day for many years, around three out of four trains ran on time across the network (72.5 per cent) – that’s around 16,000 trains.
"We know that many had difficult journeys, but many more arrived on time as planned."