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Friday, 25 April 2014

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Sea causes more damage to Cumbria coastal rail line

More damage has been caused by the sea to the coastal rail line between Carlisle and Barrow.

Northern Rail said this afternoon that the damage had occurred at Parton, near Whitehaven.

It means trains will now run between Barrow and Whitehaven with a bus replacement service operating between Whitehaven and Carlisle.

Commuters were already facing problems with all trains cancelled between Workington and Carlisle. Buses are running in their place.

That stretch of track was closed on Friday due to “significant damage”. The storm washed away more than 200 yards of track at Flimby and Siddick. The scale of the damage means that sea defences must be rebuilt before work can begin to reinstate it.

Repairs may take up to a week.

The line between Workington and Barrow had reopened this morning after Network Rail engineers carried out repairs over the weekend.

New flood warnings were in place this afternoon from St Bees to Gretna. The Environment Agency warned that today's high tides - due about 3pm - whipped up by strong winds may cause flooding.

The warning applied to the coast from St Bees Head and included Maryport, Flimby, Workington, Whitehaven, Port Carlisle, Skinburness and Rockcliffe.

Lower level flood alerts were also in place on rivers including the Eden with its confluence with the Irthing and the upper river Derwent.

The Met Office had forecast gusts of up to 70mph today and heavy showers.

"Strong winds will combine with large waves to bring the risk of coastal flooding. But waves will be larger than usually associated with this strength. The public should be aware of the dangers of waves crashing onshore and over topping shore lines and sea fronts," it adds.

The rain may be accompanied by hail and thunder. Between five to 10mm of rain could fall in less than an hour with locally 15 to 25mm of rain through today and up to 40mm on high ground.

"The public should be aware of the potential for localised flooding leading to difficult driving conditions, with hail providing an additional hazard," says the Met Office.

A delivery van driver had to be rescued this afternoon after getting stuck in flood water on the B5300 road at Dubmill Point.

Strong winds on the M6 motorway between Shap and Penrith led to matrix signs being set to 50mph.

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