Landslip stricken rail line to be closed for weeks

February 4 2015  

Landslip stricken rail line to be closed for weeks

Specialist engineers are monitoring a huge landslide beside a rail line in the Midlands which began over the weekend and has led to the cancellation of train services along the route for several weeks.

The landslip took place near the Harbury Tunnel on the line between Banbury in Oxfordshire and Leamington Spa in Warwickshire. It occurred as Network Rail was carrying out stabilisation work at the site, following a much smaller landslide last February.

“This is a massive incident and I am making sure we have all the resources we need to tackle this problem,” said Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne. “Our safety precautions ensured the railway was shut before there was any risk to passengers.”

Remote sensing techniques are being used to monitor the landslide, which continued to creep forwards as late as Tuesday afternoon, and remedial works will begin as soon as it is deemed safe. Initial investigations suggest that up to 350,000t of earth and rock will need to be removed from the line.

The line is used by passenger and freight trains operating between Birmingham and London. “This is a very deep cutting built back in Brunel's days which we have been repairing for some time,” Mr Carne added. “I can assure passengers whose journeys are being disrupted that we will do our utmost to restore their services as soon as possible.”

(Photo: Network Rail)

Return to news listing