A rail line across northern England will be closed for several days after a freight train derailed.
Network Rail said carriages carrying cement came off the track near Carlisle, Cumbria shortly after 8pm on Wednesday.
This has blocked the route between Carlisle and Newcastle in both directions, affecting train operator Northern.
The incident where the railway crosses the River Petteril is likely to have caused “significant damage” to the railway bridge, track and lineside equipment, according to Network Rail.
The infrastructure management company added: “The route is expected to be entirely closed to all trains for several days.”
Inspectors from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch will have to examine the scene before any efforts can be made to remove the train and repair the railway.
Phil James, Network Rail’s north west route director, said: “I’m extremely sorry to passengers who are facing disruption today while we deal with this incident in Carlisle.
“Thankfully train derailments are rare and our priority now is to protect the safety of people using the railway, those living beside it and the surrounding environment while we carry out the necessary detailed investigation and complex recovery work.
“We will work around the clock will all agencies to do this and then speedily make our repairs to get the line reopened again for passengers and freight as soon as possible.
“In the meantime, please check National Rail enquiries for the latest travel information as the scale of the damage means it will be some time before we get things back up and running as normal.”
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