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'Significant progress' as repair work continues after Lancaster-Barrow train came off tracks

Engineers working to repair the embankment near where the train was derailed on March 22. Image from Network Rail.

Railway bosses say "significant progress" has been made to get trains running between Lancaster and Barrow again after a derailment four weeks ago.

Network Rail engineers have successfully repaired an embankment as part of a complex operation to recover the railway after a train came off the tracks near Grange-over-Sands on March 22.

Network Rail said the next step is to re-lay the ballast (railway stones) and track.

The work is on schedule to be completed next week, although there is still no confirmed date when trains will run again between Lancaster and Barrow.

After a Northern train came off the tracks at around 6am on March 22, a void in the ground was found around 150m away from the train.

A specialist crane was brought in to rerail and remove the train from the site of the derailment.

With the train safely removed, engineers could start to repair the railway.

A variety of methods were used to carry out a thorough investigation into the ground conditions at the site, while also carrying out complicated repairs in the challenging environment.

Phil James, North West route director, said: “I’m grateful to the people of Cumbria for their patience whilst we carry out this complex investigation and recovery of the railway in Grange-over-Sands following the recent derailment of a Northern train.

“Our engineers are working tirelessly to repair and reopen the railway. We are doing everything we can to get trains on the move between Lancaster and Barrow-in-Furness as soon as possible.”

Craig Harrop, regional director for Northern in the North West, said: “This is an important milestone in the significant infrastructure repair works that were needed in order for our services to safely resume. We look forward to Network Rail re-opening the line so that we can operate through rail services and re-connect our customers with the rest of our network.”

Four passengers and four staff from train operators Northern were on board and were safely escorted from the train following the incident.

Rail replacement bus services have been running between Lancaster and Barrow in both directions over the past month.

Passengers are advised to visit northernrailway.co.uk/service-updates for the latest travel advice.

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