Railway operator Virgin Trains has recorded a record number of journeys between London and Cumbria in the last year.
Between April 1, 2016, and March 31 this year, more than half a million trips were made between the capital and the county.
The operator has said this is a sign that Cumbria has recovered from the devastation of the 2015 storms and retained its place as one of the UK's top tourist destinations.
Virgin's trains travel from London to three stations in Cumbria - Oxenholme, Penrith and Carlisle.
Of these, Oxenholme was the most popular destination with 55 per cent of the journeys (283,000). Next up was Carlisle with 159,000 journeys, followed by Penrith on 75,000.
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Figures from industry group Cumbria Tourism also show an increase of seven per cent in the number of visitors to attractions in the region last year compared to 2015.
Anna Doran, general manager at Virgin Trains on the west coast, said: “Virgin Trains is proud to serve Cumbria and these figures show just how attractive the region is to visitors. The floods of 2015 had a devastating effect for many Cumbrian residents and businesses, so we’ve worked hard, alongside others in the region, to get the message out that Cumbria is open.
"These figures are a testament to the resilience of Cumbria, and the tenacity of local residents and businesses. As we celebrate our twentieth birthday, we would like to thank all those customers who have chosen to travel with us to visit the beautiful region of Cumbria.”
Virgin Trains partnered with tourism body Visit England to support their ‘Love the North’ campaign by offering discounted fares to flood-hit regions, including Cumbria. The company also renamed its Pendolino 390010 locomotive ‘The Cumbrian Spirit’ because of the way people acted during and after the floods.
Ian Stephens, managing director of Cumbria Tourism, said: “Provisional occupancy figures for the end of 2016 and start of 2017 look good and the increase in rail journeys to the county is promising and shows that businesses across Cumbria have real resilience.
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