Travel warning as heat-related speed restrictions across the region set to affect train services
Journeys will take longer and some services will be cancelled, GWR warns customers
Great Western Railway is reminding customers to be prepared for travelling this weekend and into next week as trains are likely to be busier, journeys will take longer, and some services will be cancelled at short notice due to the heatwave.
With another extreme weather warning issued for parts of the UK, GWR is reminding customers to bring water, to cover up and bring sun screen when travelling.
Track temperatures are expected to rise over the weekend and into next week, reaching in excess of 50°C, which means significant speed restrictions will be put in place across all parts of the GWR network. Engineers will be positioned at key locations to monitor the condition of the track.
This weekend services will be affected by short-notice cancellations due to the hot weather.
GWR is advising customers to plan ahead and check journey times before travelling. It is anticipated that train services will be busy, especially those serving coastal destinations. Rail replacement operations will also be heavily impacted this weekend.
Temperatures are set to peak on Monday and Tuesday with a blanket speed restriction in place across the GWR network. A revised timetable will be in operation.
GWR Customer Service and Operations Director, Richard Rowland, said:
“Journey times will take longer on parts of the network and we’re again expecting services to be busy this weekend because of the heatwave.
“As temperatures continue to rise on Sunday and into next week we are going to see some more speed restrictions in place, which unfortunately means some services will be cancelled or diverted.
“Passengers travelling over the next few days should take some sensible precautions, like bringing extra water, allow plenty of time for their journey and check their train is running before leaving home.”
Network Rail has been working all year round preparing the railway for extreme weather events such as this but given the expected temperatures we expect disruption.
Network Rail’s Infrastructure Maintenance Engineer, Dan Collins, said:
“The safe and reliable running of the railway is our number-one priority, and we work very hard throughout the year to prepare the track in advance for extreme weather, particularly very hot temperatures which can cause the metal rails to expand.
“Our team of engineers has been busy identifying the parts of the railway most at risk and have completed a number of measures to mitigate the impact of the high temperatures including painting the metal rails white to reduce the temperature and tensioning the rails to prevent misalignment.”
Customers who are delayed may be entitled to Delay Repay compensation if they are delayed by 15 minutes or more. Season-ticket holders can apply for compensation through the Delay Repay scheme.
To help customers, GWR is allowing people with tickets for travel on its services on Monday and Tuesday to travel on Wednesday and Thursday instead.
If you choose to delay your travel, please note that the original ticket restrictions will still apply. If you are using an Advance Purchase ticket, please travel as close to the original departure time as possible or make use of Book With Confidence.
Journeys between Newport and Bristol Parkway on Sunday will be impacted by a rail replacement bus service. Some train services are diverted and tickets will be valid for travel on CrossCountry and Transport for Wales services via Gloucester and Cheltenham Spa.
Journeys between Moreton-in-Marsh and Charlbury on Saturday and Sunday will be impacted by engineering works. Tickets will be valid via alternative routes through Worcester.
Our Refund and Book with Confidence policies will remain in place. For further information on GWR train services visit: https://www.gwr.com/travel-information/travel-updates/check-your-journey
Media and Communications Manager
Great Western Railway
0845 410 4444
Notes to editors
First Greater Western Limited, trading as “Great Western Railway” (GWR), operates trains across the Great Western franchise area, which includes South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, across southern England and into London. GWR provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services, and before the covid-19 pandemic helped over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year. GWR has been awarded a National Rail Contract to continue operating the Great Western network, which shall run up to 21 June 2025, with the potential for a further three years at the Secretary of State’s discretion. Find out more here: https://www.gwr.com/about-us