Posted 7th December 2015 | No Comments

Floods left trail of havoc on West Coast Main Line

NEW pictures from Network Rail are spelling out the trail of destruction on the railways which the weekend floods in Cumbria have left behind them. However, some train services have been resumed.

A thick layer of mud and silt has covered safety-critical equipment in eight cabinets which were submerged for more than 24 hours. Network Rail engineers have also reported extensive damage to track and other lineside equipment as well as to fencing and buildings.

The railway north of Carlisle was under more than two metres of water on Sunday but levels had dropped by mid-morning today (Monday) to allow engineers access to the railway to begin their assessment of the extent of the damage.

Many of the lines which were blocked over the weekend have reopened after hundreds of members of the 'orange army' worked around the clock to clear landslips and damage caused by high winds and heavy rain.

Services are now running between Workington and Carnforth via Barrow, from Carnforth to Skipton, from Appleby to Carlisle and on the West Coast Main Line between Preston and Carlisle. Power has been restored at Lancaster station, which had been affected by a widespread blackout in the town. But there is still some disruption. The West Coast Main Line north of Carlisle remains blocked, while there are also obstructions or damage to the line between Carlisle and Settle, Workington and Hexham.

Now that the floodwaters have receded, Network Rail said its focus was on reopening the West Coast line north of Carlisle. A clearer picture of how long this will take will emerge once safety checks and repair plans have been completed.

Debbie Francis from Network Rail said: “Now the floodwater has gone our track workers and engineers are on the railway to assess the extent of the damage.

“We have hundreds of staff working round-the-clock to keep as much of the railway open as possible. This will continue so we can reopen the West Coast Main Line as quickly as we can."