BEACHGOERS in Kent have been warned to avoid train travel at peak times as operators fear overcrowded trains.
With the UK suffering a sweltering heatwave, Southeastern Trains has issued this advice as people flock to the county’s seaside resorts such as Margate, Broadstairs, Folkestone, Herne Bay and Whitstable.
In order to keep a cool head, the railway company warns its customers to avoid peak times.
More carriages will be added on busy routes to ensure all trains are provided with fresh air.
Southeastern says its services will be at its busiest with people going to the beach between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and then returning home between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. He therefore advises passengers to avoid these times if possible.
A “crowdbuster” train with additional staff will also be on standby between Faversham and Ramsgate.
The company also warned travelers to expect slower trains and one-way queues at busy stations.
A spokesman said: “When temperatures soar, our rail infrastructure gets really hot – and you can’t cool down with a pint or an ice cream.”
“Metal rails can be up to 20°C hotter than air temperature in direct sunlight, and have been known to get up to 50°C!” And because they are made of steel, they expand when heated, so rails bend and switches can expand.
“If our monitoring systems tell us that a section of track is likely to expand, we introduce speed restrictions to reduce the risk of rail buckling, so your journey may be a little slower than usual.
“We work with Network Rail well in advance to ensure your railway is ready for hot weather. We then keep an eye on the weather forecast and check the infrastructure throughout the summer.”
Saturday was provisionally the hottest day of the year so far at Kew Gardens, with 33.2C, the Met Office said.
Temperatures reached a high of 32.6°C on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the mercury is expected to break 30°C again today.