The Cumbrian coast line reopened this morning just 10 days after large sections of the railway were washed away during storms and flooding.
Hundreds of Network Rail engineers worked round-the-clock to completely rebuild large parts of the railway following significant damage to the infrastructure on Friday 3 January. More than 4,000 tonnes of rock were transported to the area to rebuild the railway as well as new track, signalling equipment and other infrastructure needed to safely run the railway.
Sea defences and retaining walls were washed away at several locations between Sellafield and Maryport and more than 120 yards of track was washed away at Flimby. More than 600 yards of ballast was washed away at Parton and Kirkby-in-Furness and Braystones station were flooded.
A section of the line between Barrow and Workington reopened on Monday 6 January and hundreds of engineers worked to repair the rest of the damage so trains were able to use the length of the route from this morning.
Martin Frobisher, area director for Network Rail, said: “The storm and subsequent flooding caused significant damage to the railway along the Cumbrian coast but a huge amount of work has been completed in a very short amount of time so the line could reopen today. Our priority was to get the line back up and running as quickly as possible as thousands of people in Cumbria rely on the railway on a daily basis. It was a huge feat of engineering to rebuild these sections of railway and the outcome has meant a return to normal services for passengers in the shortest amount of time possible.”
A temporary speed restriction is in place on certain sections of the line while Network Rail continues to monitor the new railway and equipment.