Train services to resume after Harbury Tunnel landslip

March 11 2015  

Train services to resume after Harbury Tunnel landslip

Railway will reopen in Warwickshire on Friday following a huge landslide in January that saw 350,000t of earth and rock inundate a section of track between Banbury and Leamington Spa.

Network Rail said works have continued around the clock to reinstate the line near the Harbury Tunnel and that services will be restored several weeks ahead of a scheduled reopening at Easter.

“I am sure passengers will join with me in welcoming this news,” said Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin. “Having seen the scale of the challenge, I congratulate Network Rail’s engineers on reopening the line faster than expected.

“There is, of course, a longer term task in trying to make sure this sort of disruption does not happen in future,” he added.

The cutting where the landslip occurred forms the approach to Harbury Tunnel and is excavated to depths of up to 30m through inter layered mudstone and limestone.

“Harbury cutting has suffered from landslips for more than 150 years," said Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne. "We have secured the cutting and made it safe and will carry out long term repairs which will significantly reduce the chances of similar incidents in the future."

Contractor Murphy worked on behalf of Network Rail to reinstate the line and the site will be carefully monitored for several months as work continues on the cutting and additional investigations are conducted.

The affected line is used by passenger and freight trains operating between Birmingham and London.

(Photo: Network Rail)

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