Network Rail believe ‘very dry’ beams may have caught fire due to ‘stray spark’
Train tracks have caught fire after a spark allegedly ignited wooden beams as the UK swelters in 30C heat.
According to Metro, the fire occurred on a bridge in Battersea, south London, and led to the suspension of services between Victoria and Brixton.
Network Rail has warned commuters that trains may have to run slower due to high track temperatures.
West Midlands train routes between Stratford-upon-Avon, Leamington Spa and Kidderminster – where speeds have been reduced to 20mph from the normal 60mph – have already been impacted.
Speed limits are expected to remain in place until 8 p.m. tonight.
Network Rail is expected to monitor a number of locations and may impose new speed restrictions to reduce the risk of lines buckling due to the heatwave, Metro reported.
The newspaper further said that the problems at Battersea began when the wheel timbers of the bridge caught fire.
Network Rail said the beams were ‘very dry’ due to a lack of rain and ‘although we don’t know for sure it is possible that a stray spark ignited them’.
The fire at the Met Office on Monday issued an orange weather warning for extreme heat across England and Wales.
The heat warning is in place for Sunday, when temperatures could hit 30 degrees in some areas.
It covers almost all of England and much of Wales.
The hottest temperatures will be felt in the South and the Midlands, with London currently forecast to experience temperatures in the region of 34C.
⚠️⚠️Amber Weather Warning issued⚠️⚠️
This rare extreme heat warning covers much of England and parts of Wales 📈
Unusually high temperatures are possible from Sunday until early next week #Heat wave 🌡️
Latest news 👉 https://t.co/QwDLMfRBfs
— Met Office (@metoffice) July 11, 2022