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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Barrow to Sellafield train passengers left stranded after blaze rips through railway shed

TRAINS between Barrow and Sellafield were suspended for hours yesterday after a blaze tore through a railway building in Ravenglass.

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GUTTED A firefighter trains water on the engineering shed at Ravenglass Station, which was severely damaged in the blazejonathan humphries

Cumbria fire and Rescue Service were called to the incident at around midday, after a large engineering shed caught fire at Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, adjacent to the main rail line.

Although no one was injured in the blaze the building was severely damaged and large sections of the roof had collapsed.

Thick smoke was still billowing from the site several hours after the incident was reported.

Officers hosed down the building from above using a hydraulic platform.

Adrian Holme of Cumbria Fire Service said seven engines and the hydraulic platform attended the scene.

Crews were drafted in from Barrow, Millom, Bootle, Seascale, Egremont and Whitehaven.

A team of firefighters from Sellafield also provided assistance.

Mr Holme said at the scene: “We were called out around midday and upon arrival the building was well alight.

“We have used jet streams to control the fire and now we believe we have it surrounded.”

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

Jim Walker, chief executive of Ravenglass and Eskdale railway, said the building had never had any problems before.

He said: “We have had a fire in our engineering shed, which is located away from Ravenglass Station’s facilities.

“The engineering shed is next to the main line; therefore Northern Rail has suspended services from Barrow to Sellafield for the time being.”

Margaret Robinson from Millom was attempting to travel back from Barrow but became stranded at Barrow railway station.

She said: “I am on my way back from a holiday in Egypt and I was trying to catch the link at five past one.

“I have been here for more than three hours now.

“There’s a lot of people at the station and the weather is freezing.

“We were told a replacement coach would arrive but so far nothing has turned up.”

Fire teams used water pumped from the River Esk to tackle the blaze.

The main line eventually re-opened at 3.30pm yesterday but delays of up to 20 minutes were reported on services until 6pm.

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