Train derails in Carlisle as carriages smash off track – sparking days of travel chaos

Commuters face several days of disruption after a train carrying heavy cement derailed overnight, closing a busy line in both directions.

Carriages on the freight train carrying cement came off the track over the River Petteril shortly after 8pm last night.

Network Rail is currently working with multiple agencies to discover the cause of the sudden derailment.

No one was hurt in the incident, however the railway will be closed for some time in both directions impacting all services between Carlisle, Newcastle and Appleby and Skipton.

The busy route is likely to be closed for several days as teams are expecting to find heavy damage to the railway bridge, track and nearby equipment which will need essential repairs before it can be reopened.

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.

“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 set to descend on the scene before efforts to remove the train can be made.

Only then can repairs to the damaged railway get underway.

One engineer said of the derailment: “Knowing the area it’s not easily accessible, but I’m sure my highly skilled brothers and sisters in the Orange Army will succeed.”

Another added: “Just when we think we have problems, there’s always someone with a bigger problem to solve.”

Last night’s incident comes ahead of more train strikes called by the RMT Union for November over better pay and working conditions.

Following other protests in July, August and October, members of the union will walk out on on Thursday November 3, Saturday November 5, and Monday November 7.

RMT members on London Overground and London Underground will also walk out on November 3 in separate action.

Avanti West Coast train managers will strike on Saturday October 22 and Sunday November 6.

ScotRail RMT members will strike on Saturday October 29.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “On the one hand they were telling our negotiators that they were prepared to do a deal while planning to torpedo negotiations by imposing unacceptable changes to our members terms and conditions.

“Our members are livid with these duplicitous tactics, and they will now respond in kind with sustained strike action.”