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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Neil Pooran, PA Scotland & Ethan Davies

'Do not travel' warning issued to rail passengers on part of west coast mainline

A section of the west coast mainline - one of the country's most important railway routes - will remain shut until Friday after flooding caused “significant damage” to an embankment.

The railway is closed between Carlisle and Glasgow, and will be shut until at least Friday, January 6. Heavy rain ahead of the New Year led to disruption across the Scottish rail network, with trains being cancelled over the weekend.

Engineers spent the weekend assessing the damage to the embankment beneath the railway line south of Carstairs in South Lanarkshire. On Sunday, Network Rail said extensive work is needed to stabilise the track’s foundations.

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Work will continue around the clock to remove landslide debris – affecting a 40 metre section of the line – before replacing it with more than 200 tonnes of stone. However, the line is not expected to reopen until at least January 6.

“Flooding has caused significant damage beneath the track and we will need to rebuild the supporting embankment before reopening the line," a Network Rail spokesman said. “This is a very challenging project but we understand the inconvenience closing the line will cause to customers and are working hard to reopen the railway as quickly as we can.”

An Avanti West Coast spokesman added: “While our colleagues at Network Rail are working hard to reopen the affected parts of the line damaged by the landslip caused by extreme weather, our advice to customers is do not travel to and from Scotland on the West Coast Main Line.

“Customers are being advised not to travel north of Carlisle as there are no services. An amended timetable is in place between Carlisle and London Euston.

“Customers travelling south of Carlisle are being strongly advised to check their journey before they travel. We thank our customers for their patience in what are very challenging circumstances. If you are no longer able to travel, you can claim a full fee-free refund from where you bought your ticket.”

A TransPennine Express spokeswoman also had a further update: “TransPennine Express customers are advised not to travel between Carlisle and Scotland on Monday January 2. Customers with tickets for services to and from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Lockerbie or Motherwell are advised not to travel and can claim a full refund.”

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