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Heatwave may disrupt travel plans

07 July 2015 08:47

Temperatures have soared this week

Temperatures have soared this week

Holidaymakers travelling by train to get to airports are being urged to plan ahead this week, as the heatwave threatens to disrupt services.

With the temperature predicted to soar as high as 35 degrees C on July 1, Network Rail is imposing a speed limit on some lines to prevent their rails from buckling in the heat.

Those using the train are being advised to check their journeys before setting off.

They should also ensure they are backed by a good travel insurance policy, which could come into its own in the event of their plans being disrupted.

Vulnerable travellers, meanwhile, are being advised to take steps to ensure that they stay cool and hydrated during the heatwave.

Network Rail's website says that it is reducing the risk of steel rails buckling in the heat by managing the expansion they undergo as a result of heating up and being compressed by trains.

It says that in the event of a track buckling, the line would have to be closed and the rails repaired, something that could not go ahead until the temperature had fallen.

That, it adds, would lead to services being suspended and even more disruption being caused to travellers.

The website adds that speed limits are being imposed on at-risk sections of track as slower moving trains put less pressure on the rails and cut the risk of them buckling.

Health officials, meanwhile, are urging travellers who are elderly, suffer from breathing difficulties, or have young children with them to ensure they are kept cool.

The health alert comes as concerns grow that the rising mercury, which will leave the UK hotter than Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, could put lives at risk.

High temperatures and humidity have been pushed across Britain by a warm front and tropical air mass from southern Europe.