Rail freight

08.10.19

Passengers and freight will see improvement in Cumbria following major investment

From October 19, the Cumbrian Coast line will feel seven Sundays of disruption as Network Rail continue their major improvements.

Just under two miles of worn out track will be removed and replaced between Drigg and Bootle as part of the £2.8m Great North Rail Project. This includes the upgrading of railway stone and drainage.

Similar work was carried out earlier in the year between Silecroft and Bootle, as track was improved to comply with modern standards.  

The old class 37 locomotives were recently replaced on this line with Class 156 Northern trains, providing a more modern mode of transport.

Now the attention is being focused on upgrading the track, making a smoother and more comfortable journey for passengers.

Park South on the Cumbrian coast line

Phil James, North West route director at Network Rail, said:

 “We’re committed to putting Cumbrian passengers first. This work as part of the Great North Rail Project will not only make the coast line more reliable for Northern passengers but also for economically important freight trains travelling along this picturesque route.

“The essential work has been carefully planned to cause the least disruption to passengers. We thank people for their patience and advise people travelling between Barrow and Carlisle to check with National Rail Enquiries or Northern if they plan to travel by rail on Sundays.”

While work takes place, buses will replace trains between Barrow, Millom and Sellafield, to try and continue to connect passengers to where they need to be.

The 1.9 miles of new rail and sleepers will last longer, reduce maintenance costs and protect the railway from heavy rainfall.

This is thanks to new and improved materials being used as well as half a mile of railway stone and 300 metres of new drainage.

Trudy Harrison, MP for Copeland, said: 

“I recognise the inconvenience of not having the 21 trains running on a Sunday, following our hard work campaigning to get them, but this essential maintenance means that our service along the Cumbrian coastal railway line will be more reliable. I am delighted that so much investment is going into our local line, it’s not before time, and we have so many more services now.”

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