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Network Rail helicopter reveals Storm Christoph’s impact on railway

Network Rail’s helicopter team is surveying the railway as flood waters recede across the North West after Storm Christoph.

Initial signs show that railway lines left submerged in recent days in Cheshire, Lancashire, Merseyside and Cumbria have little or no lasting damage after the deluge.

The Network Rail Air Operations team is today (Friday 21 January) carrying out its sky-high inspections of the track on the West Coast main line and other key rail routes around the North West.

Back on the ground much of the railway network is now open to trains as normal.

During the major storm Network Rail’s extreme weather action teams used high volume pumps to clear floodwater – minimising damage to track, signalling equipment, cuttings and embankments.

Phil James, Network Rail’s North West route director, said: “I’m extremely proud of my teams who’ve battled horrendous conditions to keep the railway safe for passengers and freight during Storm Christoph.

“We invest tens of millions of pounds making the railway more robust so it can cope when extreme weather events like this happen. It seems this preparation work on the ground has paid off – proven by today’s helicopter inspections from the skies and other aerial photos taken by drones in recent days.”

With snow and ice forecast over the weekend there may be further travel disruption.

Passengers who still need to travel by train during this period of national lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus are being advised to check www.nationalrail.co.uk for the latest weather updates.

Pictured - Crewe Basford Hall depot after Storm Christoph.

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