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Published on : Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Passengers in parts of northern England and Wales are advised to check before travelling as flooding continues to affect rail services.Major flooding and landslips are disrupting services in some parts of Cumbria, the Tyne Valley, West Yorkshire and the Conwy Valley in Wales.
Additional members of Network Rail’s orange army have been drafted in to repair damage to the railway and to assess the condition of around 50 bridges and viaducts across affected areas – but in a small number of locations the railway remains under several feet of floodwater. Only once the water levels have receded will our engineers be able to assess the extent of any damage and carry out repairs.
Britain’s main north-south rail arteries, the East Coast and West Coast main lines, are unaffected.A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We know how important the railway is for many people and we’re working hard to repair any damage and get lines reopened as soon as it’s safe to do so. We’re working closely with the train operators to keep disruption to a minimum and recommend that anyone travelling in the affected areas, particularly those returning to work tomorrow, check before travelling for the latest information.”
At Kirkstall near Leeds, the railway has been submerged under 4ft of floodwater for nearly two days, with trains unable to run between Leeds and Skipton, Bradford Forster Square or Ilkley as a result. Specialist pumps are in place to help remove the water, but the scale of flooding in the surrounding area means it will take some time for the water to clear. The line is unlikely to reopen until Tuesday evening at the earliest.
In the north east, major repairs to an embankment following a landslip at Haydon Bridge in Northumberland mean trains from Newcastle to Carlisle cannot run west of Hexham, with a bus replacement service in place from Hexham to Carlisle until start of service on Wednesday at the earliest.
At Dalston in Cumbria, the railway is under around 2ft of flood water, meaning services are unable to run between Maryport and Carlisle on the Cumbrian coast line until further notice.
And in Wales, severe flooding over a 2.5 mile section of railway in the Conwy Valley means trains are unable to run between Llandudno Junction and Blaenau Ffestiniog. Engineers are on site carrying out a full assessment of the damage and once this is complete an estimate can be made about when the railway will reopen.