Heat warning to passengers after London train track bursts into flames

Credit: Southeastern rail

Traintracks on a London line near Battersea burst into flames as the UK-wide heatwave continue. 

Fire services were called and a London train service was paused after flames engulfed the wooden beams on a track in South London on Monday. 

Managing Director od Southeastern Railway, Steve White, took to social media to share a picture of the incident, thanking “the London Fire Brigade for responding promptly to a lineside fire this morning and allowing services to safely resume to Victoria”.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We were called to a fire on a bridge in Battersea around 0430 this morning, where a wooden beam was alight. 

“We closed the lines on the bridge while the fire was being tackled by our friends at London Fire Brigade, and it was put out by 0600. 

“We were able to reopen two of the three tracks on the bridge by around 0630 and all three were open by 0845, following a thorough inspection of the bridge. 

“We’ll need to do some repair work, notably to a walkway that was damaged in the blaze, and we’re working on a plan for doing that as we speak.

“The cause of the fire is under investigation.”

Network Rail warned passengers too check before they travel, saying that “very hot weather can cause the overhead wires that power electric trains to sag – and delays to your journey.”

Meanwhile, Transport for London assured commuters that it was taking steps to ensure the Underground could handle the heat.

It said there are 192 air-conditioned Tube trains covering 40 per cent of the network, with industrial fans and cooling systems in older parts of the Tube.

Mark Evers, TfL’s Chief Customer Officer, said: “We have a comprehensive hot weather plan in place to protect the network’s infrastructure and keep services running.”

“During this hot weather we advise customers to ensure they have water with them when they travel and offer a seat to those who may need it. If any customer feels ill they should contact a member of staff at the next station or speak to the bus driver.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, commented on the Met Office’s extreme weather urging people to be “careful if travelling at the hottest times of day, and to utilise London’s 4,000 free refill locations, more than 100 new water fountains and our Cool Spaces across the capital.”

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