The West Coast mainline is set to open by midday, after flood waters receded quicker than initially forecasted.
The railway north of Carlisle was under eight feet of floodwater on Sunday but levels had dropped by mid-morning on Monday 6 December to allow Network Rail engineers access to begin to assess the extent of the damage.
A thick layer of mud and silt has covered vital safety-critical equipment in eight separate cabinets which were submerged in water for more than 24 hours. There has also been extensive damage to track and other lineside equipment as well as to fencing and buildings.
However many of the lines were blocked over the weekend have reopened after Network Rail engineers worked around the clock to clear landslips and damage caused by high winds and heavy rain.
Services are now running between Workington and Carnforth via Barrow; from Carnforth to Skipton; from Appleby to Carlisle; and on the West Coast main line between Preston and Carlisle.
A spokesperson for Virgin Trains said the operator was “hopeful” about having services up and running north of Carlisle from midday, albeit with some speed restrictions.