Network Rail will close all locations between London King’s Cross and York and Leeds due to record temperatures on Tuesday

A few areas in Yorkshire will see temperatures rise to 39C on Tuesday and due to the searing heat Network Rail has decided to close all lines between London King’s Cross and York and Leeds.

Yorkshire’s temperatures on Tuesday, July 19, will break records as various areas of the region will reach 39C, including Leeds, York, Harrogate and the temperature in Doncaster is set to reach 40C. The region’s current highest temperature is 36C (96.8F) recorded in Wakefield on July 25, 2019.

As a result of the extreme heatwave the UK expected tomorrow (July, 19), Network Rail will close the East Coast Main Line (ECML) for all locations between London King’s Cross and York and Leeds tomorrow afternoon. Passengers are being urged not to travel.

The closure will take place from 12pm to 8pm with a skeleton service running in the morning. It comes amid weather predictions of record temperatures and the declaration of a national emergency early this week.

A train pulls in to the station, on the Network Rail service. (Pic credit: Bruce Rollinson)

A mixture of extremely high local forecast temperatures and temperatures well in excess of those for which the infrastructure is designed for on the East Coast corridor has resulted in this action.

The news comes as more disruption is set to be caused later this month due to strikes and Northern has issued a follow-up ‘Do Not Travel’ notice to Yorkshire customers.

The train line closure means that many train companies will not be running any services and others will be very limited. Passengers are being asked to re-plan their journey for another day wherever possible or to get a refund.

Conditions on other routes will be closely monitored with further changes to service possible. Additional response staff will be available on the network to assist with incidents, but the heat makes working conditions difficult for them too.

Sam MacDougall, operations director for Network Rail, said: “Closing the line to traffic is always a last resort but it is the right thing to do to keep people safe on Tuesday given the unprecedented heatwave forecast. The forecast temperatures are well above those which our infrastructure is designed, and safety must come first.

“On Monday we are reducing the speed at which trains can run which will limit the number of trains running and extend journey times significantly so we’re asking passengers to only travel if absolutely necessary.

“The best way to keep everyone safe and prevent passengers from becoming stranded on trains in the extraordinary heat is to proactively close the East Coast Main Line routes south of York and Leeds during the very hottest temperatures. I am sorry for the disruption this will cause.”

Jason Webb, director of Customer Information Rail Delivery Group, said: “These are extreme temperatures and while the whole industry is pulling together to deliver the best possible service under the circumstances, we must ask people to only travel if absolutely necessary. If you have no choice but to travel on lines that are open, please take all sensible precautions to keep yourself safe and well, like bringing water for your journey.

“If your train is disrupted and you choose not to travel then you are eligible for a free fee refund. Some operators will also offer customers the ability to travel either Wednesday or Thursday if they prefer to delay their travel - please check with your operator. We are sorry for the disruption caused.”