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Cumbria passengers to get multi-million-pound track upgrades

Passengers in Cumbria are being advised to plan their journeys next month when Network Rail upgrades track near Bootle station.

On five consecutive Sundays from November 15 to December 13, buses will replace trains between Sellafield and Millom.

The £2.3m Great North Rail Project investment will involve replacing over 4,000 metres of rails and sleepers, helping to make journeys more comfortable and smoother for passengers.

Passengers are being urged to check before they travel at or on the Northern Trains website.

Phil James, North West route director for Network Rail, said: “We’re committed to putting Cumbrian passengers first. This work as part of the Great North Rail Project will not only make the coast line more reliable for Northern passengers but also for economically important freight trains travelling along this picturesque route.

“The essential work has been carefully planned to cause the least disruption to passengers. We thank people for their patience and advise people travelling between Sellafield and Millom to check with National Rail Enquiries or Northern if they plan to travel by rail on Sundays. I’d also urge to people to follow government guidelines and wear face coverings unless they are exempt when travelling on rail replacement buses.”

Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern, said: “The engineering work on the Cumbrian Coast line is a key part of the rail industry’s plans to deliver a better, more reliable, network for our customers.

“We are sorry for any disruption during the improvements and our customers can be assured that both Northern and Network Rail will do everything possible to minimise the impact of the work and deliver alternatives that keep people on the move.”

Trudy Harrison, MP for Copeland, said: “I recognise the inconvenience this will have on travellers weekend plans in the run up to Christmas, however, these essential works to upgrade over 4,000 metres of railway on our Cumbrian Coastal Line will help to improve journeys and ensure safety for passengers and freight services in the long-term.

“I was grateful to receive a fascinating insight into the world of rail repairs and renewals last year and saw first hand the hard work that goes into such extensive improvements.”

Meanwhile, passengers are asked to continue following Government guidance around the use of public transport.

Travellers must wear a face covering on train services and any replacement bus services. Those who fail to do so risk being fined £200.

However, some people are exempt, including young children and people with hidden disabilities or breathing difficulties.

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