Repairs continue and Cumbrian Coast still shut
The West Coast main line north of Carlisle reopened on the afternoon of Tuesday 8 December, just two days after it was flooded by around eight feet of water.
The water subsided the previous day, allowing Network Rail to clear debris and mud from the track, make repairs and put in place temporary measures to allow trains to run again. NR says repairs to damaged signalling and electrical equipment are ongoing in order to allow a full service to resume. Speed restrictions are in place on parts of the route, and trains which do run are liable to be delayed.
The disruption was caused by Storm Desmond, which first hit the network on Friday 4 December when the Cumbrian Coast line was closed between Workington and Carlisle due to landslips and flooding. The section remains closed, with NR hoping to reopen it later this week. On 5 December the West Coast main line was shut between Carlisle and Oxenholme, with rain continuing to fall and then entirely submerging the railway north of Carlisle station the following day. Train services south of Carlisle were able to resume, but more extensive repairs were needed to the damage further north.
Debbie Francis of Network Rail said: ‘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’.