Record 42.6C in Paris as Europe heatwave hits blistering peak

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(Paris) – Paris baked in an all-time high temperature of 42.6 degrees Celsius (108.7 Fahrenheit) as a ferocious heatwave smashed records across northern Europe, sparking concerns about public health and causing new misery for rail travellers.

As records also tumbled in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, Paris beat the previous top of 40.4C set in July 1947.

Trains have been slowed in several European countries to avoid damage to the railway networks. French national operator SNCF urged travellers to delay journeys planned for Thursday, while German railway company Deutsche Bahn offered travellers a chance to change tickets free of charge.

In the sweltering French capital, authorities warned people to keep an eye on those living alone.

At the same time, the scorching weather spelled misery for millions of commuters on public transport.