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Today's high temperatures to bring disruption to Thames Valley train services

Speed restrictions put in place

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

No trains running between Newbury and Reading

TRAIN services through the Thames Valley are to disrupted today (Tuesday) because of scorching temperatures.

With rail track temperatures expected to exceed 50 degrees in parts of London and the Thames Valley, Network Rail has placed speed restrictions on main junctions in and out of London Paddington

The restrictions will be in place between 1.30pm and 7pm and Great Western Railway is warning people that journeys may be delayed or cancelled.

GWR said that while a majority of services are expected to operate as timetabled, journeys may take between 10-15 minutes longer.

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 (calling Slough, Reading, Didcot and Oxford) and return services are cancelled. Passengers are advised to travel to Didcot for connecting services to Oxford.

The company is advising passengers to check before they travel, to drink plenty of water, and to lookout for vulnerable people travelling by rail. 

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 said: “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 can be found at explained

How are you faring with today's temperatures? Email 

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Article comments

  • NewburyStuart


    19/07/2016 - 21:09

    As a rail enthusiast can I shed some light on this story,when rails are laid they are stretched and heated along their length this is called stressing,in this country rails are stressed to 27C in this country,let us not forget that these temperatures are not common in this country,in countries like Spain,France,Portugal the rails are stressed to a higher temperature but they still get affected,services have not been cut but speeds have been reduced,take a look a videos on YouTube showing a train going over a buckled rail before you start calling an excuse for poor service,please note the trains are STILL running,a bit shocked today as there seems to be no news of an accident on the A34


    • teertsg

      20/07/2016 - 19:07

      I understand that the lines could get buckled, however I was on a train from London to Reading yesterday which was running very slowly to be told by the train manager, via several announcements, that there were speed restrictions between London & Reading but after Reading they should be up to normal speed as there were no restrictions; the train was going to Swansea. What I'd like to know is what the difference in the tracks between London & Reading and Reading to Swansea?


    • Blizzard

      20/07/2016 - 01:01

      Thanks for posting. I did wonder if this was the case. Information that should have been in the report.


  • Guide Dog

    19/07/2016 - 13:01

    Spain, France and Portugal Railways have constantly higher temperatures and seem to manage without cutting all their services.


    • NewburyDenizen

      19/07/2016 - 14:02

      no doubt, we have the "wrong type of heat" just like we have the "wrong type of snow" or "wrong type of rain", it's just another excuse for poor service.


      • NewburyStuart


        19/07/2016 - 21:09

        The wrong type of snow was a media invention,it is make believe,the ice and snow got inside the electrical equipment of the electric trains and caused over heating of traction motors,leaves is another story,the leaves cause the wheels to slip,bit like ice on the roads