UK heatwave: Warning for rail passengers as temperatures soar

Sue Nicholson

BBC News

Brighton beach on Wednesday

Rail passengers are being advised not to travel today, or to allow extra time for their journeys, because of speed restrictions being imposed due to the heatwave.

With temperatures forecast to reach a record 39C (102.2F) across the South East, Network Rail has warned that its steel tracks could overheat and buckle.

Southeastern, Southern and Thameslink are all running a "significantly reduced service".

View more on twitter

Public Health England has maintained a level three heat health watch for eastern areas of England, where temperatures topped 30C on Wednesday.

The current record of 38.5C was set in Faversham in Kent in August 2003.

Councils have called on the public to check on family and friends, warning that the elderly and those with heart and respiratory problems are most at risk from the hot weather.

Swimmers tempted to take a dip in a river or lake have also been warned of the hazards of open water swimming after three bodies were recovered in London and Gloucestershire.

Sussex train services returning to normal after flooding

Flooding of rail lines in the Haywards Heath area is subsiding and trains are now running, Southern Rail says.

All lines through Haywards Heath have now re-opened, although disruption is expected until about 09:00 BST a Southern spokesman said.

Services between London Victoria and the East and West Sussex coast were being delayed and cancelled earlier, with Thameslink and Gatwick Express services also affected.

Journeys to and from Three Bridges, Brighton and Lewes may still be delayed by up to an hour, the rail company warned.

Chairman of transport design company explains his plans to change the way we sit on trains
Chairman of transport design company explains his plans to change the way we sit on trains

Brighton Main Line commuters face nine days of disruption

Network Rail

Thousands of commuters on one of the busiest rail routes in the South East will face major disruption next week as part of a £300m improvement project.

There will be no direct trains between London and Brighton, and Lewes or Eastbourne and the city from Saturday until 24 February.

Network Rail said surrounding services would be affected while engineers renew and upgrade the Brighton Main Line.