‘Complex’ recovery continues after Carlisle train derailment

Engineers are continuing a complex operation to recover several freight wagons that derailed a week ago in Carlisle.

A freight train carrying cement derailed at Petteril Bridge on the outskirts of Carlisle last week, causing extensive damage to rail infrastructure.

The derailment involved a locomotive carrying 14 carriages, each filled with 80t of powdered cement, as it traveled between Clitheroe and Carlisle on Wednesday October 21. Five of the carriages derailed shortly after 8 p.m. at Petteril Bridge Junction.

Of the five cars that came off the tracks, two have been straightened on the tracks, and the remaining three will need to be craned up. Before this could be done, specialist contractors carefully emptied the wagons of all their cement – ​​so that the 20t weight of each wagon could be lifted safely.

So far, more than 110 tons of cement have been extracted from the five wagons involved. It is estimated that all material will be cleared by early next week.

Eliminating the sequelae of the derailment continues to be complicated by several factors. This includes working in the difficult terrain where the wagons have come to rest.

To accommodate the unstable ground conditions, plans are still being finalized for the transport and construction of the large crane needed to lift the carriages so they can be taken away by rail accident investigators.

An initial report released by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch found that a fault with a train wheel was the most likely cause of the derailment.

Network Rail North West Road Manager Phil James said: “I would like to once again thank people for their patience as we continue our difficult work to recover the derailed freight carriages.

“We are working with multiple agencies to get to a point where the recovery operation can be completed and our major rail repairs can begin. There is still a lot of work to do until we get to that point, so I would encourage passengers to check National Railways inquiries if they plan on making trips to the region during the next few weeks.

Northern Regional Manager Kerry Peters added: “We continue to work closely with Network Rail to minimize disruption to our customers during the recovery operation. Customers should always check before traveling and plan for longer journey times. We will share updates on our website and via social media as they become available.

Network Rail have visited nearby properties and will write to residents in due course with further details of how recovery and repair work may affect them.

Meanwhile, rail replacement buses will continue to keep passengers moving for the foreseeable future, with train lines set to be closed until November. This impacts all services running on the Tyne Valley line between Carlisle and Newcastle and the Settle to Carlisle line between Carlisle, Appleby and Skipton.

The Environment Agency continuously monitors this work and there have been no spills into the Petteril River during the recovery process.

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