Flooding blocks London to Scotland train line as 'danger to life' weather warning issued

Flooding blocks London to Scotland train line as 'danger to life' weather warning issued

Thousands of train passengers are facing disruption as a major railway line between London and Scotland is closed due to flooding.

National Rail Enquiries said the West Coast Main Line between Carlisle and Lockerbie is blocked, after a river burst its banks and flooded the railway line following heavy rain.

The disruption is affecting operators including Avanti West Coast and Caledonian Sleeper, which run services between Euston and Scotland.

Major disruption is expected for the rest of Thursday.

Avanti West Coast told passengers: "Please do not attempt to travel with us between Preston and Scotland. We're really sorry if this affects your journey today."

The company said passengers can travel with other operators such as LNER on the East Coast Main Line, postpone their journey or request a refund.

TransPennine Express commercial director Darren Higgins said: "Due to flooding on the railway line north of Carlisle, train services are significantly disrupted.

"The safety of our customers and colleagues is our priority and we are urging customers not to travel between Manchester, Liverpool (or) Preston to Carlisle, Glasgow and Edinburgh.”

Services affected are Avanti West Coast trains between London Euston and Edinburgh, and Glasgow Central; Caledonian Sleeper trains between London Euston and Inverness, and Aberdeen; ScotRail services between Carlisle and Glasgow Central; and TransPennine Express trains between Manchester Airport and Edinburgh, and between Manchester Piccadilly and Glasgow Central.

It comes as more heavy rain is expected to hit northern England, Scotland and Wales, with a “danger to life” warning in place for some areas, after a person died in a mudslide on Wednesday.

On Thursday, as yellow and amber warnings for rain remained in place in northern regions as more rain was set to hit.

London has escaped the weather warnings. Following a wet Wednesday - which drenched commuters, Chelsea Flower Show visitors, and Rishi Sunak as he delivered his general election speech - the capital is forecast for a dry and at times sunny day on Thursday.

The fairer weather is expected to continue throughout Friday and Saturday, before rain returns on Sunday.

The picture is very different in northern areas of the country, where more heavy rain is due to fall, after some areas saw almost a month’s worth of rain fall in 24 hours on Wednesday.

North Yorkshire Police confirmed a person died following a mudslide in the village of Carlton-in-Cleveland, on the edge of the North York Moors, around 1.15pm.

In Loftus, a town 20 miles away, 41.6mm of rain was recorded in the space of 24 hours. The May average for the area is 57.5mm.

Carlisle in Cumbria experienced the worst of the rainfall, with 65.6mm falling over the previous 24 hours.

Simon Partridge, a forecaster at the Met Office, said there was still “quite a long way to go” until the rain was due to stop, with wet weather expected to continue in the area until Thursday evening.

An amber warning for rain has been in place across parts of North Wales and north-west England, including Manchester and Liverpool, from midday on Wednesday. It is in place until midday on Thursday.

Flooded fields in Warwickshire (David Davies/PA Wire)
Flooded fields in Warwickshire (David Davies/PA Wire)

Fast flowing or deep floodwater is likely, causing danger to life, the Met Office warned.

It said there is “a good chance” some communities will be cut off by flooded roads, while power cuts and public transport disruption are also likely.

A yellow warning for rain covers the north of England, the Midlands and north and central Wales until 6am on Thursday, while another is in place for southern and eastern Scotland until 6pm on Thursday.

The Environment Agency has issued a severe flood warning for the rivers Roe and Ive from Highbridge to Stockdalewath, south of Carlisle. The warning says flooding will be rapid due to rapidly rising water levels.

Members of the public shelter under umbrellas the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London on Wednesday (Victoria Jones/PA Wire)
Members of the public shelter under umbrellas the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London on Wednesday (Victoria Jones/PA Wire)

A further 22 flood warnings, where flooding is expected, have been issued across England with one in Scotland.

Regarding staying safe in wet weather, Mr Partridge said: “Although it may not look too bad when you leave home, it could turn much heavier once you’re out and about, so the best thing is to plan your trips and if you don’t need to go – the best advice is to try and avoid it.

“Keep an eye on your local warnings from the Environment Agency which are just as important as ours as well.”