The UK has recorded its second hottest day ever, causing disruption to commuters after Network Rail reported a number of heat-related incidents on the railway. Forecasters warned the heat could lead to heavy rain in some areas, causing more disruption to travellers.
In a statement, Bob Bobson from Network Rail called the disruption ‘unavoidable’ and denied claims their lines are not fit for purpose saying, ‘Our trains run perfectly at any temperature between 15C and 18C, provided that it’s dry, not too overcast and the wind remains at “gentle breeze” velocity. These parameters were agreed and signed off by Chris Grayling during his tenure as Transport Secretary, and if the weather is not favourable to those parameters then I’m afraid there’s really nothing we can do about it’
Network Rail said it was working “flat out” to fix the issues as quickly as possible.
And with commuters becoming increasingly frustrated CEO, Andrew Haines, tweeted a photo of himself flat out on a sun lounger with a bottle of beer in one hand and a burger in the other.
Commuters became stuck at St Pancras station in London after overhead wires were damaged, severely disrupting services. Many rail lines have advised passengers not to travel,
citing the cramped conditions, failure to run on time, and horrific cost as reasons.
The Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators and Network Rail, said the disruption was particularly bad in London and the South East and warned it could continue until the weekend.
A spokesman said, ‘We’re deeply sorry to all of our customers and we promise to do everything we can to get the trains running again. Unfortunately, there was no way of predicting that it might get sunny in July, and just like previous disruption caused by snow in February and falling leaves in Autumn, we blame climate change. To that end I have to say I was disappointed to see delayed passengers buying plastic bottles of water from the kiosks and vending machines throughout the day. Until these people realise that they are the root cause of the problem then we’ll continue to have weather, and the trains won’t be able to run properly. Anyway, I must go. It’s stifling down here and I need to get back to my air conditioned office and book my Uber or I’ll miss Eggheads.’