A POPULAR Cumbrian railway line has been forced to close after a landslide.

Extreme weather at the weekend has caused a landslide which damaged the tracks on the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, and a team has now been deployed to help fix the damage.

The team are hoping they will be able to get the line back up and running by the weekend but are unable to commit to that timescale.

The landslide has caused almost 150 meters of damage along the heritage line.

This line is one of the oldest and longest narrow gauge railways in England, and is known affectionately as La’al Ratty.

It was more than 100 years ago, in April 1913, that the original 3ft line closed and in 1915 the new 15in La’al Ratty was born.

Heritage steam engines transport passengers from Ravenglass, the only coastal village located in two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Lake District National Park and Frontiers of the Roman Empire Hadrians Wall, to Dalegarth for Boot some 210ft above sea level.

Rachel Bell, head of marketing and business development at Lake District Estates said: "Due to a landslip caused by extreme weather conditions over the weekend, Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway has had to suspend train services until Saturday, October 9.

"Our cafes at Ravenglass and Dalegarth stations remain open for business.

"Our track gang is on site assessing the damage which has displaced approximately 160 yards of track.

"The teams will be working hard to clear the line and repair the track.

"We estimate this work to be completed so we can run trains from Saturday, October 9, but this may be subject to change.

"We will keep the public updated on our Facebook page.

"All customers that have pre booked tickets will be contacted by our office staff directly.

"We apologise for the inconvenience and thank our customers for their understanding and patience.”

It was originally built way back in 1873 and was commercially opened on the May 24 in 1875. The railway's main purpose was to transport iron ore, that was being mined in the hills above the village of Boot, down to Ravenglass where it could be transferred onto the Furness Railway's mainline to Barrow.