Beleaguered rail passengers are facing a weekend of more misery on the railways after Network Rail told people not to travel for a third day in succession.
The heatwave yesterday (Thursday, July 25) coupled by the downing of overhead line equipment meant all East Midlands trains to Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough and Market Harborough were cancelled for most of the afternoon and evening.
Engineers were unable to fix the problem and they told people not to travel today (Friday), and to use alternative means of getting to their destination.
Now Network Rail have warned that disruption to services on the Midland Main Line will continue over the weekend.
EMT will continue to run a reduced service tomorrow (Saturday, July 27) and on Sunday as their workers battle to fix the overhead lines at West Hampstead.
In order to give the teams on the ground enough time to work on the railway, train operators have agreed that no trains will run on this portion of the line between midnight and 8am tonight, and between midnight and 8am tomorrow. Sunday evening will see the line closed between 8pm and 4am.
A statement from Network Rail urged passengers not to travel and to consider alternative arrangements.
It went on to say that if their journey is absolutely necessary, passengers should plan ahead and check before travelling via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator. As a reduced service is running, trains which do run are expected to be incredibly busy. Passengers should allow additional time for their journey and take plenty of water with them.
Paul Rutter, Chief Operating Office for Network Rail, said: “Yesterday was a tremendously difficult day for the Midland Main Line, as the unprecedented heatwave took its toll on our railway and I would like to express my sincere apologies for the discomfort experienced by passengers.
“As an industry, we took pre-emptive action to reduce the services running yesterday in response to the forecast extreme heat. We continue to work closely with East Midlands Trains and Thameslink on keeping passengers moving safely and Network Rail engineers will continue to work round-the-clock to fix the over head line equipment, enabling a full service to run as soon as possible.
“We would advise passengers not to travel on the Midland Main Line over the weekend unless absolutely necessary. If you must travel, please check before travelling with your train operator or National Rail Enquiries. I would like to thank all those affected for their patience.”
East Midlands Trains and Thameslink are currently developing service plans and alternatives for the weekend for essential travel.net