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West Coast rail line landslips force closure until at least Wednesday

Landslips caused by heavy rainfall on Saturday have resulted in rail services between Oxenholme and Carlisle being suspended until at least Wednesday.

Storm Desmond brought unprecedented levels of rainfall to the Cumbria region over the weekend resulting in a number of landslips along the main West Coast rail line, as well as roads within the region.

The closure follows on from a suspension of services between Workington and Maryport on Friday due to ground instability issues.

Network Rail has said that flood water levels are restricting its ability to inspect and assess the damage. Flood water is reported to be over 2.5m deep 3km to the north of Carlisle station.

“We’re doing everything we can to get this stretch of line reopened but rain, floods, landslips and wind are not helping,” said a spokesperson for Network Rail.

“In many instances engineers are struggling to get to the problem spots because they’re inaccessible due to flooding. Our priority is safety. Only when we can guarantee it is safe will we reopen the line between Oxenholme and Carlisle.”

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