Hot weather causes tram delays

It probably hasn’t escaped your notice if you’re in the UK at the moment but it has been a tad warm over the past few days! Whilst it is nice to have a little bit of sun and warmth (but does it need to be that warm?!) it does also have some consequences for public transport, particularly on rail. As a result of the high temperatures delays were reported on Manchester Metrolink, Nottingham Express Transit, Stagecoach Supertram and West Midlands Metro on Thursday 25th July.

In Manchester speed restrictions were applied across the Metrolink network in order protect the tracks and overhead because of the risk they could expand in the heat. This was also severely affecting services on the national railway network to a far worse degree.

Explaining more about the reasons for the speed restrictions, Chris Stinchcombe, Director of Engineering at KeolisAmey Metrolink, said: “We are sorry if customers have experienced any delays today due to the speed restrictions in place, and thank you for your patience. We are experiencing very high temperatures today and to keep the network moving safely, we have reduced operating speeds, in line with standard rail operator practice. We are continuing to monitor the condition of the rails and overhead lines across the network to keep trams running.”

Delays were reported across the network with the most severe on the East Didsbury line.

Similar delays were also seen in Nottingham – again due to the heat. In a statement on their website NET said: “Due to the hot weather conditions, we have delays to all services. We are working hard to make sure our trams are cool enough before going back into service. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

Stagecoach Supertram tram-train services were disrupted because of issues on the Network Rail route through Rotherham with only one service an hour able to run instead of the usual three an hour service. These departed Cathedral at xx01 and returned from Rotherham Parkgate at xx32.

As for West Midlands Metro it was a power outage that caused the problems which meant no trams were able to run between Grand Central and Wednesbury Parkway. Although the power outage wasn’t affecting the West Bromwich area it wasn’t possible for trams to use the crossover at West Bromwich Central because of the heat. This disruption remained in place between approximately 1000 and 1900 with trams able to resume full route after this time.

All in all the heat has a lot to answer for and hopefully things will calm down a bit over the next few days.

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