During heatwaves, rails in direct sunshine can be as much as 20°C hotter than air temperature and expand as they get hotter – sometimes causing them to curve or buckle.
Network Rail engineers will be carrying out additional track inspections over the weekend and deploying special remote monitoring equipment to help spot rails which are becoming too hot.
If rail temperatures in an area do rise significantly, some localised speed restrictions may be put in place to slow trains down and reduce the amount of force being placed on the rails.
Engineers have also been preparing in advance – stressing sections of track ( in known hot-spot areas and also painting rails white to help reflect the sun and keep them up to 10°C cooler.
David Dickson, ScotRail Alliance infrastructure director, said: “On very sunny days, rails in direct sunshine can be as much as 20 degrees centigrade above air temperature.
“As rails are made out of steel, they expand as they heat up and can buckle, causing disruption to travel.
“If a section of track is judged to be at risk, we introduce speed restrictions – slower trains exert lower forces on the track and reduce the chance of it buckling.
“Our engineers will be out throughout the weekend, monitoring rail temperatures and working hard to make sure we effectively manage any potential issues and keep customers on the move.”