Train passengers have been warned to avoid travelling early next week due to extreme heat unless their journey is “absolutely necessary”.
The first ever extreme heat weather warning covering much of England has been issued by the Met Office as scorching temperatures are expected to climb to 40C next week.
TransPennine Express (TPE) has also urged anyone taking essential journeys on Monday and Tuesday to pack water and sun cream.
Last-minute cancellations and delays could wreak havoc from Sunday amid the hot weather.
Speed restrictions will be imposed by Network Rail on Monday and Tuesday in response to the heatwave.
Operations director at TPE Kathryn O’Brien said: “With weather warnings in place between Sunday and Monday and a number of speed restrictions planned to be imposed on Monday and Tuesday, we will be running an amended train plan and are urging people to only travel if absolutely necessary on these dates.
“This is likely to be some of the hottest weather we’ve ever seen and it’s really important that anyone making an essential journey is prepared and brings water and sunscreen along with them.
“Journeys will take longer than usual and further disruption is likely. Anyone using our services on Monday and Tuesday should check before they travel and allow plenty of extra time.”
Tuesday is likely to be the hottest day, with the potential to top the UK record temperature of 38.7C set in Cambridge in 2019.
Grahame Madge, Met Office spokesman, said: “We’ve just issued a red warning for extreme heat for Monday and Tuesday which is the first such warning ever issued.
“The warning covers an area from London up to Manchester and then up to the Vale of York. This is potentially a very serious situation.”
England’s chief medical officer, Professor Sir Chris Whitty, asked people on Twitter to look out for each other.
He said: “The Met Office has issued an extreme heat warning for next week. Please remember the signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke especially for older and medically vulnerable people. Early intervention to cool people down and rehydrate them can be lifesaving.”