Workers at TransPennine Express put in every effort to keep people moving during extreme heat
With the UK recording some of its hottest ever temperatures over recent days, it’s been a challenging time which has meant changes for many. Despite the tough conditions, staff at TransPennine Express (TPE) did all they could to provide a safe and reliable service for those that needed it.
A number of speed restrictions were brought in at the start of the week which meant the train company had to introduce an amended train plan, with journeys taking longer than usual. The situation continued to evolve as time went on, with TPE unable to operate trains on certain routes at points, but people at the train company worked tirelessly around the clock to keep those making essential journeys moving.
On trains and at stations, TPE’s conductors, drivers, station staff, onboard hosts, fleet engineers and cleaning colleagues were on hand to provide extra support to those that needed to travel, ensuring people were as comfortable as possible.
Behind the scenes, TPE’s Control Centre team enacted a Gold Command response and extreme weather action group to prepare and manage the ongoing disruption.
Reflecting on the experience, James Frost, Head of Train Service Delivery, who manages the company’s Control Centre and led the company’s extreme weather response said: “The past few days have been tough, with the heatwave meaning we had to make changes to our services as well as issuing guidance for people to only travel if their journey was essential.
“Lots of work went into preparing for Monday and Tuesday. Extra bottles of water were sent out to trains to keep customers hydrated, and we made sure additional members of staff were on hand to help people. Our trains all have air conditioning, but we continued to closely monitor the temperatures onboard through specially installed monitoring systems. We also organised for some of our drivers to go to the depot overnight to start up trains and switch on the air conditioning, so they were kept cool ready for the start of service.
“The impact of weather meant the situation continued to evolve as time went on, causing further disruption. We did our absolute best to respond to any situations that arose, whether it was providing alternative transport where a train had been cancelled at short notice or organising for one of our engineers to reset air conditioning onboard a train to keep things cool.”
Matthew Golton, Managing Director for TransPennine Express, said: “I want to say thank you to our customers for their patience and understanding over the past few days, and to my team and others in the wider rail industry who worked tirelessly to keep trains running and customers moving safely under exceptionally testing conditions.
“Whether making changes to our train plan, resolving any engineering challenges or handing a bottle of cold water to somebody onboard one of our trains, these actions have all made a difference and I’m very proud of all the efforts that have been made.”
The knock-on impact of the hot weather continues to impact some routes across the TPE network and customers are advised to check their journey carefully before travelling via the TPE website, tpexpress.co.uk, or National Rail Enquiries at nationalrail.co.uk.
Anyone that experiences a delay while travelling may be entitled to compensation with more information available at: tpexpress.co.uk/help/delay-repay-compensation.