Temperatures across London and the South East are forecast reach 37°C tomorrow and as a result Southeastern will be running fewer services.
Temperature of metal rails could exceed 50°C Steel rails conduct heat and it's forecast that their temperature could exceed 50°C tomorrow.
When steel becomes very hot it expands and, if there is no room for the rail to expand further, this can cause the rail to buckle. If rails buckle the line has to be closed for repair before trains can run again.
Speed restrictions to keep passengers safeNetwork Rail will therefore be introducing speed restrictions to reduce the risk of the rails buckling and keep passengers safe, however this does mean that trains will be travelling more slowly across the network..
This means a reduced service tomorrowUnfortunately, because trains will be travelling more slowly across the network, we can only operate a reduced number services on Thursday. As a result, the trains which do run are likely to take longer to complete their journeys and will be much busier than normal.
We will be making sure that journey planners are updated today with the detail of which trains will be running, so you can plan your journey in advance. We are strongly advising passengers to avoid travelling if they can, or re-time their journey to when trains are less busy.
If you're planning to travel, allow extra time and carry waterIf you’re planning to travel with us tomorrow, please allow extra time for your journey and check before you travel to make sure your train is running.
Passengers travelling in hot weather are advised to carry a bottle of water with them and not to board a train if feeling unwell.
Other train operators will also be affected On adjacent routes to Southeastern - Thameslink and Southern will also be running a reduced service with speed restrictions in place across Sussex and Kent.
Things should return to normal on FridayWe plan to run our normal timetable on Friday. when temperatures are forecast to have fallen
For more information about why high temperatures can cause problems for the railway, please visit this page: www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/summer-weather