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Saturday, 23 August 2014

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Repairs set to begin on landslip rail line in west Cumbria

Work is due to begin this month on repairs to a stretch of railway line where a landslide caused a train carrying more than 100 passengers to derail.

The landslide at Nethertown, near St Bees, happened when heavy rain and flash flooding caused havoc in west Cumbria eight months ago.

There were 102 passengers, mostly Sellafield workers and crew, on board the early Northern Rail service when the front wheels of the two-coach train left the track after the hillside along the single-track section collapsed onto the beach, taking part of the track bed with it.

Immediately after the incident the line was closed for three days while extensive repairs were carried out to clear the debris away and strengthen the hill.

This month, Network Rail plans to carry out further work on the stretch of railway and has submitted an application to the Marine Management Organisation to carry out the works.

David Mallender of Network Rail said: “We plan to carry out preventative maintenance work at several locations along a three-quarter-mile stretch of railway either side of Nethertown station to deal with wave erosion at the foot of the bank.”

Mr Mallender said that the work was intended to secure the embankment to prevent any future movement.

In the application it states that “tide and wave action” is eroding the toe of the natural coastal slopes supporting the railway line.

It is expected that the work, by Carlisle-based Story Contracting Limited, will be complete by the end of August, depending on weather. The full application can be viewed at Egremont Library or at www.marinemanagement.org.uk/publicregister. Representations or objections can be made up until April 16.

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