Temporary station to reconnect flood town

Network Rail is building a temporary railway station on the north side of the River Derwent at Workington in Cumbria, where flood damage to road bridges has split the town in half.

The company has identified a site on waste-land just over half a mile to the north of the existing station. The move is intended to help alleviate some of the problems being experienced by the residents of Workington and the surrounding villages.

All services travelling north and south of the present Workington station will also stop at the new station, Workington North. Train operator Northern Rail will lengthen trains with extra carriages where possible. The council has been asked to work the station into local bus routes.

Robin Gisby, director operations and customer services said: “We have a wealth of experience and engineering expertise that we felt should be put at the disposal of the Cumbrian authorities. Our people will work round the clock to build a temporary rail station, north of the river, to help re-connect the town and ease people’s travel problems.”

Network Rail has agreed a two-year lease of land owned by Allerdale Borough Council off the A596 immediately north of St Helens Business Park, opposite the Plaza Cinema. The two-platform station, linked by a footbridge, will have lighting, a waiting room and a gravel car park, and will be built and ready for its first passengers by the weekend.

Jo Kaye, route director, said: “Through aerial surveys we identified several potential sites for a temporary station. The council, despite being under considerable pressure, worked with us to quickly identify the best solution and a site was chosen. Work will start tonight and we will have the station open just as soon as we can."

Network Rail has also had its own structures engineers examining rail bridges throughout the county and all have been passed as safe enabling a normal train service to run. The company has offered Cumbria County Council its expertise and resources in structures management to help with the onerous task the council faces examining its 1,800 bridges. The council was also offered future resources to help the re-building efforts.

Army teams from the Royal Engineers helped to assess bridge damage during the worst of the flooding, but formal military assistance to the Cumbrian emergency services has now come to an end.

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