‘Prepare for the heatwave,’ says Dutch infrastructure manager
The Dutch infrastructure manager ProRail warned its customers of possible service disruptions occurring from the ongoing heatwave in the country. “The scorching sun creates a lot of heat. This could lead to malfunctions,” explained the company.
Temperatures will rise sharply, affecting train and railway systems. As a result, malfunctions can occur, warned ProRail. “We try to prevent serious problems with preventive maintenance and inspections. As a rail sector, we continuously monitor our systems and intervene as quickly as possible if issues arise,” highlighted the company.
ProRail also highlighted that the heat will directly affect the tasks of railway workers, who will probably need to put into force heat operation protocols and take measures such as extra braking and equipment cooldown.
Heat frenzy also in the UK
Among the major mainland European infrastructure managers, only ProRail clarified the approach to the current heatwave taking over the continent. Infrabel from Belgium and Deutsche Bahn from Germany have not devised an action plan or suggestions concerning the matter.
On the other hand, this is not the case in the UK, where the infrastructure manager Network Rail announced the closing of the East Coast Main Line’s southern section on Tuesday, 18 July. The East Coast Main Line is a 393-mile-long electrified railway between London and Edinburgh, considered the key transport artery of Great Britain.
Network Rail decided that the forecasted temperatures will go along with closures and speed restrictions on railway lines across the country to ensure the safe running of trains and avoid the danger of track melting. The company said that the impact on train services will vary by region.