Rail passengers are being warned of major disruption between Carlisle and Newcastle after an incident involving a freight train.
Network Rail is working with multiple agencies to understand how wagons came off the track over the River Petteril shortly after 8pm on Wednesday, 19 October.
No one was injured in the incident, but the railway will be closed for some time in both directions impacting all services between Carlisle, Newcastle and Appleby and Skipton.
Inspectors from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch will have to examine the scene before any efforts can be made to remove the train and make railway repairs. This is standard practice with any railway derailment.
The incident is likely to have caused significant damage likely to the railway bridge, track and line side equipment, so the route is expected to be entirely closed to all trains for several days.
Phil James, Network Rail’s North West route director, said: “I’m extremely sorry to passengers who are facing disruption today while we deal with this incident in Carlisle. Thankfully train derailments are rare and our priority now is to protect the safety of people using the railway, those living beside it and the surrounding environment while we carry out the necessary detailed investigation and complex recovery work.
“We will work around the clock will all agencies to do this and then speedily make our repairs to get the line reopened again for passengers and freight as soon as possible. In the meantime, please check National Rail Enquiries for the latest travel information as the scale of the damage means it will be some time before we get things back up and running as normal.”
For the latest updates on the incident, passengers can follow the Network Rail Lancashire and Cumbria Twitter account on @NetworkRailLC. For up-to-date travel information and detail on alternative travel please check www.nationalrail.co.uk.