West Coast main line to reopen today: Flooding on the West Coast main line north of Carlisle

Tuesday 8 Dec 2015

West Coast main line to reopen today

Region & Route:
| National
| North West & Central

Network Rail will be re-opening the West Coast main line north of Carlisle this afternoon 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.

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.

Some parts of the railway will continue to operate with speed restrictions and further adverse weather conditions are expected later today which may again affect the service. The orange army is on standby to tackle any further impact on the network.

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 work has taken place 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 worked tirelessly 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.

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.

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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