Emergency repairs will continue tonight to shore up a railway embankment on the West Coast main line near Warrington.

The wettest February on record made worse by Storm Jorge this weekend caused sodden ground to move at Dutton Viaduct near Acton Bridge.

To keep passengers safe, the southbound line of the viaduct has been closed to trains.

Tonight, hundreds of tonnes of rock will be used to reinforce the embankment where the earth has slipped.

While this temporary repair takes place, the railway will be closed in both directions from 7.30pm tonight (Monday 2 March) until 7.30am tomorrow (Tuesday 3 March).

If the strengthening work proves successful, its hoped both lines can reopen to trains by Wednesday.

When the line does reopen, it is likely a temporary speed limit will be put in place while engineers carefully monitor the location.

Passengers are being advised to check before they travel with disruption expected for the next several days.

Tim Shoveller, managing director for Network Rail’s North West and Central region, said: “I thank passengers for their continued patience as we’ve been trying to make the railway safe again at Dutton Viaduct. We’re working to get passengers moving again as soon as we can.

“Our engineers have to stabilise the ground from any further movement before we can allow trains to run safely on the southbound line again. I’m sorry to passengers affected and I urge anyone travelling on the West Coast main line over the next few days to check www.nationalrail.co.uk as disruption is expected to continue.”

While this vital safety work continues passengers should leave more time for their journeys and check with their train operator.

Some West Coast main line services will be diverted via Manchester or stop short at Crewe or Preston instead.

People are urged to check National Rail Enquiries at www.nationalrail.co.uk for the latest travel information.