Rail passengers are being warned of major disruption after Storm Jorge caused a landslip on the West Coast main line near Warrington.

To keep passengers safe, the southbound line at Dutton Viaduct has been closed while Network Rail carries out emergency repairs.

The scale of the landslip means the railway is expected to be shut for several days, causing disruption along the West Coast main line.

Passengers are advised to check National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator to see how their journey will be impacted.

Tim Shoveller, managing director for Network Rail’s North West and Central region, said: “Sorry to all passengers affected by this emergency line closure. Safety is our priority and the seriousness of this landslip means we’ve had no choice but to close one line at Dutton Viaduct. Our engineers will be working round the clock to make railway safe again for passengers. 

“I’d urge anyone travelling on the West Coast main line or in the Merseyside area to check before they travel over the next few days as major disruption is expected. I thank people for their patience while we work as hard as we can to get the railway open again.”

Network Rail engineers have been battling against the elements in recent weeks, with three major storms over consecutive weekends. These storms have left ground saturated and, in some cases, prone to slips like this one.

The Met Office has now confirmed last month was the wettest February on record.

Passengers are advised to check www.nationalrail.co.uk for the latest travel information.