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WATCH: Settle-Carlisle line fully reopens

WATCH: Settle-Carlisle line fully reopens

Published at 12:18am 31st March 2017. (Updated at 2:35pm 31st March 2017)

The Settle-Carlisle railway line has fully reopened after more than a year of repairs following a major landslip.

In February 2016, the section at Eden Brows in Cumbria was closed when Network Rail's aerial surveillance and track monitoring teams detected the ground slipping beneath the railway towards the River Eden 70 metres below.

Over the next few weeks, a 100-metre section of track subsided 1.5 metres.

Buses then replaced Northern train services along this stretch of line until the railway was made safe and repaired.

The size and scale of the job, coupled with the inaccessible location and the fact that the ground was still on the move, made it the biggest repair challenge ever faced by Network Rail.

Engineers created a 100 metre-long concrete shelf which provides a solid base for the railway.

See how the line was repaired:

 

Martin Frobisher, Managing Director of Network Rail's London North Western route, said: "I am beyond thrilled that customers and goods are moving again on this vital economic artery through Britain's most beautiful landscape.

"Our orange army has ensured that even if the ground gives way again in future, the railway will not."

Paul Barnfield, Regional Director for Northern, added: "The Eden Brows engineering project has been a mammoth task for Network Rail and we are delighted to once again be able to offer a direct train service between Settle and Carlisle.

"We'd like to thank our customers for their patience and look forward to welcoming them back to this iconic stretch of railway."

After the first Northern service out of Carlisle at 5.50am, the world-famous locomotive Flying Scotsman, which has been hired for the day by Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, made a one-off chartered trip from Keighley to Carlisle.

Matt Stroh, Chairman of Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, said: "It has been a privilege for the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway to have been involved in the reopening of the Settle-Carlisle line. Praise must be given for all the hard work undertaken to reopen the line."

Settle-Carlisle railway

Final work taking place to install new track at Eden Brows

Rail Minister Paul Maynard said: "This is an excellent example the Government's vision for the future of our busy rail network - one that is run by an integrated team of people with a commitment to improving services for the benefit of passengers.

"Network Rail, contractors and train operators have together worked hard to get this historic line - which first opened 130 years ago - running again. Our railways are crucial to our economic future and whether it's improving services or completing essential repairs, the commitment is the same. That is why I am delighted to be part of this event marking such a significant moment."

Douglas Hodgins, Chairman of the Friends of Settle-Carlisle Line, added: "It is great to be back in business. We shall be working tirelessly with the railway industry to ensure the line regains its role as a through route to Carlisle and Scotland as quickly as possible - and to seeing the splendours of the Eden Gorge from the trains again. Well done Network Rail and its contractors."

Story Contracting carried out the repair work at a cost of £23 million.

Chairman and owner Fred Story said: "For Story Contracting to be part of the reopening of the iconic railway, especially being a Cumbrian-based company, is something we can all be really proud of.

"Our project team have been working day and night to ensure passengers can once again travel on this much-loved section of the Settle-Carlisle railway line."

Flying Scotsman setting off from Keighley: