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The once doomed Settle-Carlisle Line has tonight come to the rescue as the only rail route open between England and Scotland. The West Coast Main Line is blocked by a landslip near Oxenholme, and the East Coast Main Line is similarly closed north of Newcastle.
Virgin Trains, whose drivers are familiar with the Settle-Carlisle line for use during planned diversions, are running a limited service across the roof of England route, once threatened with closure until reprieved by then Transport Minister Michael Portillo in 1989.
Richard Morris, Chairman of the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line - the group that campaigned for its retention and which now supports its day to day running - said
"It is rare for both East and West Coast Main Lines to be blocked simultaneously. The Settle-Carlisle Line is remarkably robust and we are delighted that on this occasion it can resume the purpose for which it was built - as the third route between England and Scotland."