Usual train services on several routes in the UK were severely disrupted as temperatures soared to record levels across the country.

According to the Met Office, the UK witnessed its hottest day recorded in July and the second hottest since records began, with the temperature reaching 38.1°C in some parts of the country.

Great Northern, Thameslink, East Midland Trains, London North Eastern Railway and other train companies reported cancellations or serious disruptions in services due to heatwave-related incidents.

On many routes, strict speed restrictions were imposed over concerns that severe heat may buckle railway tracks or damage overhead cables.

Similar disruptions are also anticipated today, with Network Rail already issuing a travel advisory to the passengers.

Network Rail network services director Nick King said: “There were a number of heat-related incidents across the railway on Thursday 25 July.

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“Our teams have been working flat out to fix the issues, however, we are sorry that disruption is likely to continue into the morning (Friday 26 July).

“We are advising passengers to check with their train operators or the National Rail Enquiries website before travelling.”

According to the UK’s rail infrastructure manager, the temperature of steel rails can be 20°C hotter than the surrounding atmosphere.

With temperatures approaching 40°C, track temperatures may jump to 60°C, significantly increasing the chances of the metal expanding and the tracks buckling.

However, most of the delays and services disruptions were due to sagging overhead cables. Thousands of passengers were stranded at major railway stations.

The Met Office said the temperature is expected to drop today, with lightning and showers expected in some parts of the UK.