CALLS for improvements to West Cumbria's rail services have been made after trains were suspended for a second time in a fortnight.

The train lines between Workington and Whitehaven were closed yesterday morning due to a landslide.

Railway staff cleared away the debris and the lines were later reopened, but passengers still faced disruption.

Train services running through the stations were cancelled or delayed by up to 45 minutes.

A rail replacement bus service, run by Workington Heritage and Reays, transported passengers between Whitehaven and Workington until train services resumed.

Now members of Whitehaven Town Council are urging Northern Rail to invest in West Cumbria's rail line.

John Kane, who represents the harbour ward, said: "That line's been a problem for the last 40 to 60 years.

"It's time they put some investment into it. It isolates West Cumbria."

While Brian O'Kane, who represents Bransty, said: "How many years has this been going on? It's quite ludicrous."

Coun O'Kane said the train service provided a "lifeline" for people travelling between Whitehaven and Carlisle and that any plans to improve the train lines in the future should be brought forward.

Chris Hayes, who represents Kells, said: "In light of the fact we have just had a big push on tourism, there's got to be major investment.

"The rail company needs to be held to touch. We need this infrastructure with the roads and the railways."

Workington MP Sue Hayman is also pushing for the rail service to be improved.

She is contacting Network Rail and plans to bring up the issue with the rail minister at a meeting next week.

"This has happened on a number of occasions. We have got to do something more long term to stop it happening," the MP said.

Anyone whose journey has been delayed by 15 minutes or more can claim compensation by visiting