Sellafield train derails as floods hit Cumbria

Hundreds of homes across Cumbria were affected by flooding overnight

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A replacement train sent to help passengers after a train derailed in Cumbria after a night of heavy rain was forced to stop after it got stuck.

More than 100 people were on a Northern Rail train when it struck a landslide south of St Bees, near Nethertown, at about 07:20 BST.

The passengers were rescued and put on a replacement train but it was forced to stop because of another landslide.

No-one was reported hurt and passengers were transported by 4x4 vehicles.

A spokesperson for Northern Rail said it was now a matter of "assessing the damage" and implementing an alternative timetable.

Network Rail said it would take "some time" to repair the damage and reopen the railway line.

Scene of Sellafield train derailment Heavy rain resulted in two train derailments in west Cumbria

A spokesperson said: "The location is making the work we need to do extremely difficult. There is virtually no road access to the site so it is likely that all the material needed will have to be brought as close as possible by train.

"While we will get the line reopened as soon as we can, it is likely to be first thing on Monday morning before normal services are resumed."

Copeland Borough Councillor Elaine Woodburn, said it had been "very traumatic" for residents and they were working with emergency services to provide "comfort and support".

She said: "As very little rain is expected over the next 24 hours, continued flooding is unlikely.

"However, we have a substantial recovery job to do. We are still delivering sandbags to residents in some parts of the borough and keeping people safe is always our number one priority."

'Screamed out'

Passenger Alan Isles said fellow travellers screamed out as the train hit the landslide, sending debris flying over the carriages.

Mr Isles, from Workington, said: "As we were coming round a corner, there was no deceleration at all and we suddenly felt a large impact.

"A lot of people screamed out as the train derailed and many were disorientated.

Workmen on the track near the derailed train The train was derailed near St Bees

"We were worried about rolling over but luckily we didn't. The staff were great and took control straight away."

A spokesman for British Transport Police said: "We were called to the line near St Bees rail station following reports that a train had partially derailed.

"Officers attended the incident, alongside colleagues from Cumbria Police and North West Ambulance Service, which is believed to have been caused by a landslide in the area.

"The derailment affected two carriages of the 6am Maryport to Lancaster service, though all carriages were upright.

"The Rail Accident Investigation Branch has been informed."

Hundreds of homes across the county were affected by flooding overnight.

Start Quote

At the moment you can paddle across my floor”

End Quote Emma Jane Taylor St Bees resident

Many spent the night in Egremont Market Hall after about 50 properties from Church View and Orgill estate in Egremont were affected by the flooding and 14 properties were evacuated.

A road bridge over a tributary of the River Ehen at Beckermet was closed over fears it could collapse, but it has now reopened.

The A591 at Grasmere was blocked after a wall collapsed, but has now reopened.

The Met Office said 40mm (1.7in) of rain had fallen in less than three hours affecting areas including Sandwith, Egremont, St Bees, Beckermet, Gosforth, Ravenglass and Seascale.

Egremont and the Calder Valley were the worst affected parts of West Cumbria with 15mm of rain recorded in just 15 minutes at Calder Hall.

However, forecasters say the rain is now easing in the area.

'Alerted neighbours'

Cumbria Fire Service said it had received more than 100 calls for help, mainly involving requests for sandbags.

A spokesman for Cumbria Police said drains were unable to cope with the amount of water after the River Ehen and several becks in the Egremont area burst their banks.

A Cumbria Police spokesman said: "We started getting calls from about 1am, mainly from people concerned that water was coming into their homes and asking for sandbags.

Roads in Beckermet were flooded Roads in Beckermet were flooded

"We also had calls from the fire and ambulance services asking for our assistance in reaching some areas and had to close some roads for a time."

Emma Jane Taylor said floodwater began entering her St Bees home shortly before midnight.

She said: "We've had heavy rain here before, but it's never been this bad before.

"I alerted some neighbours, but within 30 minutes it was through my front door and coming up through my floorboards.

"It's lifted the block paving from my grandmother's house nearby and was also coming through her French windows.

"At the moment you can paddle across my floor.

"We just hope the rain doesn't come back because the drains are full to the top and wouldn't be able to take any more."

Earlier this week the rear of a four-storey house house in Egremont collapsed into the River Ehen after heavy rain.

The Environment Agency said a flood alert remained in force for Upper Derwent, Stonethwaite Beck and Derwent Water as the lake level at Derwent Water remained high.

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