Temporary speed restrictions may be imposed on the Transperth train network in the coming days due to extreme heat.
With temperatures forecast to reach 38 degrees Celsius or higher for the rest of the week and into the weekend, trains may be slowed.
Transperth reduces the speed of trains by about 20kmh when track-level temperatures reach 37C on the Fremantle, Midland and Armadale lines and 39C on the Mandurah, Joondalup and Thornlie lines.
If track temperatures reach 41C, train speeds reduce by a further 10kmh. When temperatures drop back below 37C and 39C respectively, the restrictions are lifted.
The restriction is in line with national and international operating and safety standards, which recognise the possibility that weather extremes may slightly distort steel track.
The slower speed can cause delays but, because speed restrictions have a cumulative effect, the length of the delay will vary, depending on the length of each journey. This may affect some connections for commuters.
Heat speed restrictions have been imposed every summer in Perth for more than 30 years, but the impact was greatly reduced as the Public Transport Authority progressively replaced wooden sleepers with concrete. Track with concrete sleepers is much less affected by the heat. All the PTA’s mainline urban track has had concrete sleepers for several years.
Heat-related speed restrictions are imposed around the world, while some countries also impose restrictions because of other climatic or environmental factors – for example, parts of Britain have speed restrictions in autumn if tracks are covered with leaves, which can affect traction.
Commuters can visit www.transperth.wa.gov.au/Service-Updates/Heat-Speed-Restrictions for more information and to register online for My Alerts to get email updates on services affected by cancellations or delays. You can also call 13 62 13 on the day for the most up-to-date speed restriction and travel information.
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