S&C to the rescue

Torrential downpours across northern England on Thursday 27th June caused landslides between Lancaster and Carlisle, closing the West Coast Main Line.  The East Coast Main Line was also closed near Berwick.  The only north-south through route remaining open was the Settle-Carlisle Line.
I was on the 1249 from Leeds, and as we approached Kirkby Stephen the sky ahead literally turned black.  The heavens opened, and just beyond Long Meg signal box the track was completely flooded.  The driver slowed right down, then stopped - I could see water pouring down the embankment, taking a bit of ballast with it.  The driver was reporting the incident to Control; the conductor thought the line would be closed.  Not a bit of it, the following train was only 8 minutes late into Carlisle.
Virgin Trains put on replacement buses between Carlisle and Lancaster, but those in the know caught the 1618 Carlisle-Leeds instead and it was standing room only.  Just another example of why we need 3- or 4-car trains as standard.
There has been a lot of discussion via email and on the FoSCL members' forum about diversions.  We're told four passenger trains were diverted onto the S&C, two in either direction, and three freight.  Questions are being asked as to why there weren't more, in particular from Trans-Pennine, and we shall be asking Network Rail when we next meet them whether there is a strategic plan in place for diversions.
FoSCL Chairman

Last updated by Richard Morris on 12/01/2014