Work, worth multi-millions of pounds, will improve a historic viaduct to make journeys more reliable for passengers and freight on the Cumbrian Coast line.
Trains can now travel the length of the line from this week after an eight-day closure between Millom and Sellafield.
Timbers and 600 metres of rail were renewed on the Eskmeals Viaduct in a £2m investment as part of the Great North Rail Project.
The work will improve journeys between Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness.
The new track means that temporary speed restrictions (TSRs) can be lifted on the viaduct.
Peter Luby, programme director at Network Rail, said: “Our teams have worked hard to ensure that this planned upgrade scheme could be completed as scheduled, providing passengers in Cumbria with faster and more reliable journeys.
“It’s not easy working day and night in the middle of a Cumbrian estuary, and staff have had to contend with more challenges from the weather and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. I’m really proud of the team for completing the work successfully, and look forward to welcoming back passengers in Cumbria to a more reliable railway.”
Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern, said: “We would like to thank Network Rail for completing this upgrade to the track along the historic Eskmeals viaduct as part of the Great North Rail Project. This vital work will improve the reliability and speed of our services along the Cumbrian coastline between Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness.
“Our rail replacement buses have kept people on the move since the line was closed between Millom and Sellafield to carry out this work, but we’re looking forward to, once again, operating trains between these stations.”
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