Heat speed restrictions to slow passenger journeys home

Tuesday 19th July 2016

Due to speed restrictions put in place by Network Rail between 1330 and 1900 Tuesday 19 July, GWR is warning customers that journeys are expected to take longer.

With rail track temperatures set to exceed 50 degrees in parts of London and the Thames Valley, speed restrictions have been put in place throughout the main junctions into and out of London Paddington.

While the vast majority of services are expected to operate as timetabled, journeys may take between 10-15 minutes longer. Customers are advised to check before they travel, to drink plenty of water, and are being asked to help our staff keep a lookout for the more vulnerable making journeys today.

A GWR spokesperson said:

“With temperatures in London set to exceed 30 degrees, the effect can bring the temperature of the rails to over 50 degrees, and we have been asked by Network Rail to drive more slowly as a result.

“We will continue to keep an eye on the situation, alongside Network Rail, and keep you updated throughout the day.”  

A spokesperson for Network Rail explained:

“Our modern rails are far more resistant to heat expansion and buckling than they used to be.  However, a day this hot affects even our track, so we need to restrict speeds for safety.  Full details are available on our website at networkrail.co.uk/delays explained.”

To be able to maintain the train timetable, the following services are expected to be cancelled:

  • All Thames Valley branch lines to remain in branch operation but with no direct London services.
  • London Paddington to Bedwyn and return services will operate between Bedwyn and Reading only
  • London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa and return will operate between Swindon and Cheltenham Spa only
  • London Paddington to Oxford direct stopping services will call at Hayes and Harlinhton, West Drayton, Slough, Maidenhead, Twyford, Reading, Tilehurst, Pangbourne, Goring and Streatley, Cholsey, Idcot Parkway, Radley and Oxford.
  • London Paddington to Oxford fast direct services (calling Slough, Reading, Didcot and Oxford only) and return services are cancelled. Passengers are advised to travel to Didcot for connecting services to Oxford

Passengers are advised to check their specific journey before they travel.