BUSINESSES have welcomed the reopening of the Furness Line after it shut for a month due to a derailment near Grange station. 

The line re-opened on Monday after an initial investigation and then work by Network Rail engineers to re-rail the train, remove it, and fix the line. 

The Furness Line not only offers convenience for commuters in the area but links Lancaster with popular tourist destinations such as Silverdale, Arnside, Grange and Ulverston, which is increasingly important for businesses moving into the busy summer season. 

Mark Greenhow, owner and curator of the Laurel and Hardy Museum in Ulverston, said that it was 'fantastic news.' He said: "Almost all of our customers are tourists to the area. It's such a beautiful train journey.

"It did feel quiet. You are never 100 per cent sure why it's quiet - but it did feel quiet while the line was shut." 

Helen Dent, the owner of Grange Emporium, agreed with Mr Greenhow.

She said: "It has affected business I'm sure. People will have to get used to it being open again." She said she had spoken to other businesses in Grange about the issue. 

READ MORE: I took the first train after the Grange derailment on Furness Line

Ms Dent said not only did it impact people hopping on the train at Arnside, who might be tourists staying on the caravan park, but also workers travelling from Ulverston. 

"Ulverston to Grange takes 15 minutes on the train. That is the main thing. I live in Ulverston, I travel every day. The A590 has a lot to answer for with roadworks." 

While she was pleased to see it back, she also said the service could be unreliable even before the derailment, particularly if people from the area want to travel to Manchester Airport to catch a flight.

The return of the train has also been praised by the tourism board.

Gill Haigh, managing director of Cumbria Tourism, said: "Travelling by train is a great option for passengers to sit back, relax, and take in the scenery of Morecambe Bay and our stunning coastline in a way they simply can’t experience if they always have their eyes on the road.

"It is fantastic to see the Furness Line back up and running, enabling people to go car free and do just that." 

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch is now currently assessing what went wrong in the lead up to the crash. 

The South Lakes MP Tim Farron claimed to have seen an official report stating that a ballast tamper (which makes tracks more level and durable) had struck a water pipe 53 hours before the incident.