Posted 8th December 2015 | 1 Comment

West Coast Main Line 'should be open by midday'


NETWORK RAIL is hoping to reopen the West Coast Main Line to Scotland by midday or soon afterwards, after another night of work to clear and repair the line just north of Carlisle station following devastating floods over the weekend, which resulted in some sections of track disappearing under more than two metres of water.

Network Rail said the blockage which has prevented trains running between Scotland and England was at Caldew Junction, where the line crosses the River Eden.

Lineside equipment is still damaged and so emergency working will be in operation, with points clipped and just four trains able to run in each direction every hour. There will also be speed restrictions at various places.

A Network Rail spokesman said it was expected that one Virgin, one freight and two Transpennine Express services would be possible, while work continues on cleaning and repairs to the equipment which had been submerged in the floodwater.

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. Floodwater caused widespread damage 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. Work will continue over the coming days.

“Network Rail’s engineers have worked tirelessly to reopen the railway so soon after the floods. However I would urge anyone planning to use trains in the coming days to check before they travel with National Rail Enquiries or their train operator.”

The Cumbrian Coast Line remains closed between Workington and Carlisle, while work continues to remove three landslides and repair two flood sites along the route. Network Rail said it hopes to reopen the line later in the week.

Reader Comments:

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  • Tony Pearce, Reading

    As 'Global Warming' and increased rainfall is now the new 'Norm' can we ask if our Railways are sufficiently prepared ? An old Railwayman I know told me that the knowledge of where tiny streams and watercourses near or under Railway lines was carried in the heads of the pre-Beeching 'Linesman' who knew everything about his stretch of track. He stated that most of that information was long gone. Anecdotal - or a great deal of truth ? But that information is vital if hidden streams may become 'big' again.