The wrong kind of heat?

Monday 27th Jun 2011 by theWeather club

One is tempted to use the line 'the wrong kind of heat' in the wake of the latest announcement from the often beleaguered rail bosses. Today it appears that trains across the country are being cancelled and delayed because it is too hot¸ as temperatures are expected to hit 31°C in eastern parts of the UK.

Heat on overhead power lines has caused the cancellation of trains between Liverpool Street in London and stations in Suffolk and Essex. The National Express operated East Anglia service which should run hourly from London to Ipswich will be cancelled from the 12.02pm service onwards while other services will be stopped short, terminating at Colchester. The Southend to Liverpool Street line is also suffering, with a total of 35 trains being affected.

National Express East Anglia said: "Due to high temperature on Monday 27 June, speed restrictions have been imposed due to the design of the overhead line equipment. This equipment is subject to major renewal which will prevent the need for speed restrictions in the long term." However customers can be assured that it intends to operate a full evening service. "We intend to operate a full AM and PM peak service," a company spokesperson said.

A Network Rail spokeswoman added to traveller's woes saying that speeds were being reduced on the London to Norwich Great Eastern line from 90mph to 80mph, adding that they could be further reduced to 60mph in the hottest part of the day, thus significantly increasing journey times.

It seems that again it is the nature of the rail infrastructure that is the culprit - that and the fiery ball slowly spinning 93 million miles away. So while 'the wrong kind of infrastructure caused by years of underinvestment' would be a more technically accurate headline, the snappier headline is more much succinct. Either way the situation remains the same. More long suffering commuters waiting on crowded platforms, this time in the midday heat, as opposed to the rush hour snow.