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  1. ITV Report

£4m safety project keeps trains online in west Cumbria

A £4 million project is underway above the coastal railway line, near Whitehaven in west Cumbria.

Up to fifty thousand tonnes of soil is being removed from a steep hillside at Lowca to prevent landslips above the tracks.

Credit: J Murphy & Sons / Network Rail

In November, the embankment gave way when rain water and local streams weakened it, causing a landslip.

Credit: J Murphy & Sons / Network Rail

Network Rail is undertaking the task. A new drainage system is being installed during the work, which should prevent future disruption to freight and passenger services.

“The removal of such vast amounts of soil is a huge task in a challenging location, but is vital to help keep trains running on this economically important route.

“The carefully planned work is one of hundreds of Great North Rail Project schemes to make the railway in the north more reliable. Once this old Victorian infrastructure in Lowca is brought up to modern standards it will secure journeys on this stunning coastal line for generations to come.”

– Tony Butler, route asset manager for Network Rail

Around £8 million is being invested on the coastal route through west Cumbria. The Whitehaven and Bootle line set to be renewed in the summer.