The Cumbrian Coast line, which has been closed between Whitehaven and Workington since March when high tides, strong winds and heavy rain brought by Storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge caused structural damage to a bridge carrying the railway at Parton, is due to reopen by the end of May.
Both lines were closed so the bridge could be completely replaced to make the railway safe and reliable again.
To protect the railway from being pounded by powerful waves in the future, more than 36,000 tonnes of rock armour, sourced from a Cumbrian quarry, is being installed to protect the exposed section of this coastal railway.
Network Rail’s North West route director Phil James said: “Repairs at Parton are progressing well, and I look forward to the whole of the Cumbrian Coast line – a key passenger and freight route being open to services once more.
“I’m especially impressed that our teams have been able to undertake all of this work while following social distancing guidelines introduced by government.
“It demonstrates just how well we can work together, even in such testing times.”
To coincide with the full railway closure work on sea defences scheduled for later this year has been brought forward.
Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern, said: “This has been a really difficult time for our customers in Cumbria and I’d like to say thank you for their patience and understanding while the repairs have been carried out.
“I’m also grateful to Network Rail for the hard work and dedication which will soon see rail services restored. We have worked closely together throughout this project which has not only repaired the damage, but also delivered improvements that will benefit local people.”
Further repair work is planned – the line between Millom and Sellafield will be closed for nine days in June due to planned work to renew the track at Eskmeals, near Ravenglass for Eskdale station.