RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Extreme Heat is causing some Amtrak trains to slow down, leading to possible delays.
Amtrak alerted passengers on its website warning them that they could experience delays due to an increase in temperatures. The message reads ‘High temperatures may require trains to operate at lower speeds. Please plan ahead as delays are possible’.
These delays come as travelers have experienced increased cancellations and longer travel times since summer travel began. The struggle that Virginians have faced traveling far distances is even tougher due to weather.
A statement from an Amtrak representative states:
“High temperatures can impact Amtrak operations as the extreme heat can cause rail, bridges and catenary wires to expand. As a safety measure, Amtrak sometimes imposes heat restrictions during warmer months, which requires locomotive engineers to operate trains at lower speeds than under typical operating conditions. Speed reductions are based on the rail temperature, not the ambient (air) temperature, to ensure we’re only issuing heat restrictions when necessary. As always, our goal is to keep customers and employees safe and ensure our trains are moving with minimal delays.
While Amtrak follows the heat restrictions set by their railroad partners, CSX and Norfolk Southern locally, they have set their own heat restrictions. With a rail temperature of 131 degrees Fahrenheit, Amtrak imposes a maximum speed of 100 miles per hour and with a rail temperature of 140 degree Fahrenheit, Amtrak imposes a maximum speed of 80 miles per hour.