Tuesday 8 Dec 2015
West Coast main line reopens
The West Coast main line north of Carlisle has reopened just two days after it was under eight feet of floodwater.
The orange army has been working round-the-clock since the key route connecting England with Scotland was completely submerged by water over the weekend as Storm Desmond battered the region.
The first train through the reopened section was the 10.51am Virgin Trains service from Edinburgh to London Euston which passed through the area just after 1pm.
Since the water subsided on Monday (7 December) large amounts of debris and mud has been removed from the railway, repairs made to the track and infrastructure and temporary measures put in place to allow trains to begin to run through the area. Engineers will continue to carry out repairs to damaged signalling and electrical equipment so a full service can resume as soon as possible.
Debbie Francis of Network Rail said: “The orange army has worked tirelessly to reopen the West Coast main line for passengers as quickly as possible. Eight feet of floodwater caused widespread damage to the railway but our teams have been on site round-the-clock to make repairs and clear the debris.
“Before trains are able to run normally large amounts of signalling equipment, including safety-critical electrical cabinets, need to be replaced following extensive flood damage and work will continue to take place over the coming days.
“Network Rail’s engineers have done a fantastic job to reopen the railway so soon after the floods which means passengers can begin to make their normal journeys once more. However I would urge anyone planning to use the trains in the coming days to check before they travel with National Rail Enquiries or their train operator before for the latest information.”
A number of emergency speed restrictions - which help to keep passengers and railway staff safe – will remain in place as the network continues to recover from the impact of Storm Desmond. Further adverse weather conditions are expected later today and tomorrow which may again affect the service. The orange army is on standby to tackle any further impact on the network.
The Cumbrian coast line, running between Carlisle and Workington, will remain closed as Network Rail continues to remove three landslides and repair two flood sites along the track. Network Rail hopes to re-open this line later in the week.
Passengers should check www.nationalrail.co.uk or with their train operator for the latest information.
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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.