Reduced timetable on St Albans Thameslink line as temperatures set to soar

There will be fewer trains at St Albans Station today. Picture: Peter Alvey

There will be fewer trains at St Albans Station today. Picture: Peter Alvey - Credit: Archant

Fewer trains will be running on the St Albans and Harpenden train line today in anticipation of the scorching heat.

Govia Thamelink Railway (GTR) scheduled a reduced service between London and Bedford in both directions from 10am.

This is because the tracks are expected to reach very high temperatures and 60mph speed restrictions will be in place from 12 noon.

The operator has advised that travellers can expect delays of up to 20 minutes and may need to change at Luton or St Albans to reach their destination.

A GTR spokesperson said: "For safety reasons, due to the risk of rails buckling in the record-breaking temperatures forecast today, Network Rail is placing a 60mph speed restriction across our network from 12 noon.

"We were able to run our normal peak services on Thameslink this morning, however, with the prospect of trains running more slowly we began to introduce, from 10am, an amended timetable with fewer services between London and Bedford in both directions.

"Delays are expected because of the speed restrictions, with some trains running non-stop between stations to reduce the overall delay into London.

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"Passengers are advised to board the first available service towards their destination, changing en route."

She "strongly advised" passengers to avoid travelling today, but if it is necessary, to stay hydrated with a bottle of water.

Met Office forecasters predict that temperatures will soar this afternoon, reaching 35°C in St Albans by 4pm.

Various official bodies have issued advice in the heat - NHS Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group has urged everyone to use suncream, carry water, and look out for others.

Tips from Affinity Water include refrigerating water, taking a short shower rather than a bath, and having a paddling pool party with friends rather than in individual households.