Six access points on the West Coast main line between Lancaster and Carlisle are being upgraded to improve maintenance and railway repairs.

The £300,000 investment – at Kendal sidings, Hollins Lane, Elmsfield, Shap Beck, Plumpton and Birkthwaite Farm – will help engineers and equipment gain faster access to the key route between England and Scotland.

As part of the upgrade, each access point will be permanently fitted with ‘road-to-rail’ platforms. This will allow maintenance teams to use their specially-adapted road-to-rail vehicles more often and quickly, allowing faster fixes to faults and less disruption to passengers.

Alan Hetherington, senior technical officer at Network Rail said: “The West Coast main line is a key route between England Scotland and, as part of the Great North Rail Project, it’s our job to keep it in tip-top condition in the north west and Cumbria.

“This £300,000 investment to modernise our access points will not only improve workforce safety, but it will also help us put passengers first by speeding up our response to unforeseen issues.”

The improvements are part of the £15 million investment package announced by the Rail Minister in December to benefit passengers across the North of England.

The six key access points lie on a 70 mile stretch between North Lancashire and Cumbria. Their improvement will benefit passengers the length of the West Coast main line between London Euston and Gretna, as well as across the North of England.