More rail disruption as Midland Main Line announce reduced service this weekend

East Midlands Trains train at St. Pancras
East Midlands Trains train at St. Pancras. Image: JoshR319 CC license.

Following damage to overhead equipment near West Hampstead, Network Rail is advising passengers that disruption to services on the Midland Main Line will continue over the weekend.

This comes after hundreds of commuters faced slow or re-routed journeys home from London yesterday (Thursday), as the network struggled to cope with the exceptionally high temperatures.

As well as track literally buckling in the heat, there were also multiple incidents on the route, including problems with overhead line equipment on the line between Kentish Town and West Hampstead and a fire near the railway in West Hampstead.

East Midlands Trains and Thameslink have been running a reduced service today and this will also be in place on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 July as Network Rail engineers continue to work to fix overhead line equipment, which was damaged on Thursday.

In order to give the teams on the ground enough time to work on the railway, train operators have agreed that no trains will run on this portion of the line between 00:00 and 08:00 on Friday and Saturday and 20:00 until 04:00 on Sunday.

Passengers are urged not to travel and to consider alternative arrangements. If their journey is absolutely necessary, passengers should plan ahead and check before travelling via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator.

As a reduced service is running, trains which do run are expected to be incredibly busy. Passengers should allow additional time for their journey and take plenty of water with them.

Paul Rutter, Chief Operating Office for Network Rail, said: “Yesterday was a tremendously difficult day for the Midland Main Line, as the unprecedented heatwave took its toll on our railway and I would like to express my sincere apologies for the discomfort experienced by passengers.

“As an industry, we took pre-emptive action to reduce the services running yesterday in response to the forecast extreme heat.

“We continue to work closely with East Midlands Trains and Thameslink on keeping passengers moving safely and Network Rail engineers will continue to work round-the-clock to fix the over head line equipment, enabling a full service to run as soon as possible.

“We would advise passengers not to travel on the Midland Main Line over the weekend unless absolutely necessary.

“If you must travel, please check before travelling with your train operator or National Rail Enquiries. I would like to thank all those affected for their patience.”

East Midlands Trains and Thameslink are currently developing service plans and alternatives for the weekend for essential travel. Information will be available as soon as possible.