Manchester weather warning: TransPennine Express and Northern say trains could be disrupted in 35C heatwave

With temperatures predicted to reach 40C in parts of England next year, rail travellers are being warned that services will be slower and some could be cancelled.

Train operators running services to and from Manchester and across the city-region have warned rail services could be disrupted by the predicted extreme heat.

The Met Office issued a red alert on Friday (15 July) with temperatures of up to 40C predicted in parts of England on Monday (18 July).

TransPennine Express said this sort of heat will have an effect on services and passengers will need to check online and plan their journeys. The train firm has also issued safety advice for anyone who will need to travel in such high temperatures but has warned against all but essential travel.

Northern has now also urged passengers only to make essential journeys while the heatwave lasts.

Manchester Piccadilly on the first day of the rail strike 21 June 2022

What advice has been given to travellers?

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TransPennine Express said that Network Rail is planning to implement heat-related speed restrictions on the rail network on Monday (18 July) and Tuesday (19 July).

That means the train operator will be running an amended timetable and customers are being advised to only travel if absolutely necessary.’

TransPennine Express runs a number of services connecting Manchester with towns and cities in Yorkshire and the North East and also runs services up the West Coast Mainline into Scotland.

The speed restrictions mean journeys will all take longer than normal, and it is likely that some trains will be cancelled - with no services running between:

  • Hull – Manchester Piccadilly
  • Redcar Central – Manchester Piccadilly
  • Huddersfield – Leeds (local stopper)

Train services can be checked on TransPennine Express’ website here. The operator says customers can defer their journeys to either Wednesday 20 or Thursday 21 July. Alternatively, refunds in full can be obtained here with no extra admin fee.

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The train operator is also requesting that anyone making an essential journey is prepared for the very hot weather and brings water and sunscreen with them.

Northern, which runs a large number of local services in the city-region, said passengers should only make essential journeys on Tuesday (19 July).

It said passengers should carry water with them to keep hydrated, find shade while waiting at a station, wear suncream and a hat and not to board trains if they begin to feel unwell.

Its services and timetables can be checked online here.

What has TransPennine Express said?

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Kathryn O’Brien, customer service and operations director for TransPennine Express, said: “With weather warnings in place between Sunday and Monday and a number of speed restrictions planned to be imposed on Monday and Tuesday, we will be running an amended train plan and are urging people to only travel if absolutely necessary on these dates.

“This is likely to be some of the hottest weather we’ve ever seen, and it’s really important that anyone making an essential journey is prepared and brings water and sunscreen along with them.

“Journeys will take longer than usual, and further disruption is likely. Anyone using our services on Monday and Tuesday should check before they travel and allow plenty of extra time.”

What has Northern said?

Chris Jackson, regional director for Northern, said: “Whilst this isn’t a ‘Do Not Travel’ notice - which we have in place across some parts of our network tomorrow - given the guidance published by government and expected disruption caused by extreme temperatures, we would advise customers only to travel if they really have to.

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“There will be blanket speed reductions in place and a limited timetable in operation throughout the region.”