Mercury soars in south-west

HEALTH warnings and train delays have been issued as the temperature is set to climb towards 40 degrees in the south-west today. 

Regional rail operator V/Line says services will be affected and warned  travellers to allow extra time heading to and from Melbourne.

V/Line chief executive Theo Taifalos said heat-related changes would mainly apply to trains from midday to 8pm until January 17. “Heat timetables reflect increased journey times for trains that are typically restricted to a maximum speed of 90km/h,” Mr Taifalos said.

“This is for safety reasons because the heat can cause steel tracks to expand and even buckle.”

The transport boss urged travellers heading to the Big Bash Cricket, A-League Soccer and the Australian Open tennis championships to allow extra time. 

“Our message to customers is to plan ahead and allow additional travel time,” Mr Taifalos said.

“If you can catch an earlier train or coach, please do that so that you get to Melbourne in plenty of time for your event.”

Coach services will also be used on hot days to replace older trains without airconditioning.

Meanwhile, Warrn-ambool City Council’s health co-ordinator urged neighbours to look after each other in this week’s hot weather. 

“It’s important to check on elderly relatives or neighbours to ensure they have a cool space they can access and that they don’t become dehydrated,” council’s Vicky Mason said. 

“While conditions in Warrnambool are not expected to be as extreme as other parts of Victoria they will still be a dramatic change from the relatively mild summer we’ve experienced so far.” 

Further details of the train service changes can be found on the V/Line website.

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