'Major disruption' warning as freight train carrying cement derails at Carlisle leaving track shut

20 October 2022, 09:11 | Updated: 20 October 2022, 09:28

Investigators are working to find out why the freight train came off the track
Investigators are working to find out why the freight train came off the track. Picture: Network Rail

By Will Taylor

A freight train has derailed between Carlisle and Newcastle, shutting a rail line and causing "major disruption".

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The train, which was carrying cement, came off the track over the River Petteril just after 8pm on Wednesday night.

Photos show one part of the cargo completely off the line, on its side down a ditch, while another has ended up leaning onto fencing on the side of the track.

Nobody was hurt but Network Rail said services between Carlisle, Newcastle and Appleby and Skipton will be impacted as the line is shut both ways – likely for several days.

Passengers are urged to check if their services are disrupted online and "a significant number of unavoidable cancellations over the coming days" are expected.

Read more: Two men charged after Just Stop Oil protest shut Dartford crossing

Phil James, Network Rail's North West route director, said: "I'm extremely sorry to passengers who are facing disruption today while we deal with this incident in Carlisle.

"Thankfully train derailments are rare and our priority now is to protect the safety of people using the railway, those living beside it and the surrounding environment while we carry out the necessary detailed investigation and complex recovery work.

"We will work around the clock will all agencies to do this and then speedily make our repairs to get the line reopened again for passengers and freight as soon as possible.

Read more: Armed police storm plane and arrest three men on suspicion of bomb hoax at Stansted

"In the meantime, please check National Rail Enquiries for the latest travel information as the scale of the damage means it will be some time before we get things back up and running as normal."

Inspectors from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch are examining the scene and will need to conclude that work before the train is removed and the line is repaired.

The closure is expected to last for several days because of significant damage to the railway bridge, track and line side equipment.

For travel information and detail on alternative travel, check www.nationalrail.co.uk

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