A FREIGHT train bound for Sellafield and hauling nuclear flasks has derailed in South Cumbria this afternoon - blocking both lines.

The incident happened between Roose and Barrow on its journey towards the Furness town.

However, Network Rail have moved to allay local concerns after revealing the train was only doing 5 mph at the time of the incident, the flasks were empty and there is no risk to the general public.

Ben Herbert, of Network Rail told the Gazette that despite appearances, the incident had been very 'undramatic'.

He said: "Two wheels have come off the track and the train is fully upright and there is no damage to track or train."

The incident happened as the driver - who is uninjured - was negotiating a junction beyond Roose Station, a small village before Barrow-in-Furness.

Mr Herbert said despite the attendance of emergency crews, none were required. Fire crews from Barrow attended the scene.

He said the big issue now remained moving the train which had been bound for the Sellafield site.

"I think it's likely now that there will be any trains from Barrow to Roose for most of the rest of today."

But Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock said the incident was 'completely unacceptable'.

"Whether full or empty, high level waste flasks are designed to withstand incredibly high levels of force but it is obviously completely unacceptable that this derailment has occurred," he said.

"I am concerned for all those involved but also angry on behalf of my constituents who have taken a very measured approach to nuclear waste material being transported through Furness.

“They need to know that safety remains paramount: a thorough and transparent investigation must begin immediately to establish the cause of this accident and prevent a re-occurrence.”

Train operators - FirstTranspennine Express and Northern Rail - are now putting buses on for passengers.

Services to and from Barrow have been cancelled. 

Trains affected include those running between Carlisle, Whitehaven, Sellafield, Millom, Barrow-in-Furnesss, Roose, Dalton, Ulverston, Cark, Kents Bank, Grange-over-Sands, Arnside, Silverdale, Carnforth, Lancaster, Preston and Morecambe.

Buses are replacing trains between Barrow-in-Furness and Lancaster, with journey times extended by up to 30 minutes.

Passengers are encouraged to use National Rail Enquiries' 'real-time Journey Planner', or call TrainTracker on 0871 200 49 50.