Passengers warned disruption between Lancaster and Barrow-in-Furness could last two weeks after train derailment: Aerial view of the location at Grange-over-Sands

Sunday 24 Mar 2024

Passengers warned disruption between Lancaster and Barrow-in-Furness could last two weeks after train derailment

Region & Route:
North West & Central: North West

Throughout the weekend, railway engineers have been inspecting the damage and carrying out ground investigations after a Northern train derailed in Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria on Friday 22 March.

Four passengers and four members of staff were safely evacuated from the train.

Network Rail is advising passengers that the route will be closed while the investigation, train recovery and repair work is complete. Initial investigations suggest this could take two weeks. 

Around 150m away from the derailment location, a void in the ground has opened. Network Rail is working with the Rail Accident Investigation Branch* (RAIB) to determine the cause of the void and the train derailment.

The RAIB are continuing their initial investigation while Network Rail begins the complex recovery process. The steps will involve:

  • Using a specialist Network Rail crane to re-rail and remove the train.
  • Carrying out repairs to the ground.
  • Installing new ballast (railway stones) and laying new track over the affected area.

Chris Pye, Network Rail’s North West route infrastructure director, said: “On the rare occasions trains leave tracks like this it can cause extensive damage and unfortunately this incident is no exception. The additional problem with the ground conditions means this is an especially complicated recovery process.

“I understand this will be extremely frustrating for passengers travelling between Lancaster and Barrow-in-Furness. Across the rail industry we’re working hard to keep people on the move through rail replacement buses while we work as fast as we can to restore the railway for passengers and freight.”

The closure will not significantly affect the timetable over the Easter bank holiday due to preplanned work in the area.

From tomorrow morning (Monday 25 March) train services will run between Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness on the Cumbrian coast line. Bus replacement services will be in operation between Barrow-in-Furness and Lancaster while the recovery of the train and repair work takes place at Grange-over-Sands.

Craig Harrop, regional director for Northern, said: “While services are unable to run between Barrow-in-Furness and Lancaster, we are working with partners to offer what rail replacement alternatives we can. This includes buses between Lancaster and Barrow calling at Lancaster, Carnforth, Silverdale, Arnside Grange-over-Sands, Kents Bank, Cark, Ulverston, Dalton, Roose and Barrow -In-Furness.

“Disruption is expected to last some time, so customers should make alternative arrangements wherever possible. We're sorry for the inconvenience and delay.

“Customers can always speak to a member of our team at their local station or visit for the latest information.”

For the latest updates on the incident, passengers can follow the Network Rail Lancashire and Cumbria X account (formerly Twitter) on @NetworkRailLC.

For up-to-date travel information and detail on alternative travel please check or

Notes to Editors

* Whenever an incident like this occurs the Rail Accident Investigation Branch carries out independent examinations to build a detailed picture of the circumstances. Journalists with queries about the status of RAIB investigations are advised to contact them directly.

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - North West & Central Region
07740 782954

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