Better journeys for passengers as £4m embankment repairs are completed on the West Coast main line: Watford Tunnel approach completed work

Wednesday 22 Nov 2017

Better journeys for passengers as £4m embankment repairs are completed on the West Coast main line

London North Western

Passenger journeys in and out of Euston will be more reliable following a £4m project to stabilise railway embankments near Watford.

Services on the West Coast main line were severely affected in September 2016 when a train derailed after hitting a landslip, caused by torrential rain, on the line between Watford and King’s Langley. A train travelling in the opposite direction then clipped the derailed train.

No-one was injured but extensive work was needed to re-open the railway. In just one weekend, Team Orange removed the two damaged trains, cleared the debris off the tracks and repaired the railway.

That’s when the really challenging work began - to clear and strengthen the embankment so there will be no repeat slips in the future.

Over the past 14 months, £3.954m has been invested to stabilise the cutting. All vegetation was removed so that 1km of rock netting and soil matting could be installed on top of the 500+ rock anchors which were embedded into the chalk face.

Gavin Evans, scheme project manager at Network Rail, said: “Passengers will have more reliable journeys through the Watford area thanks to this investment. The challenge was to work safely around the operational railway without impacting on journeys. A large proportion of the work took overnight and at weekends and the work we have done will protect the cutting for more than 60 years.”

Steve Helfet, London Midland’s head of West Coast Services said: “ This is a great example of one railway working together to make much needed repairs and improvements. The work was done with minimal impact to our customers on one of the busiest stretches of railway in Europe.”

The scheme completed earlier this month.  

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