Thursday 28 Jan 2021
Emergency repairs secure railway between Milton Keynes and Birmingham
Emergency work is taking place to repair a landslip on the West Coast main line between Milton Keynes and Birmingham .
Specialist earthwork engineers from Network Rail have been closely measuring ground movements at Hillmorton Junction south of Rugby since yesterday (Wednesday 27 January).
An early warning from a train driver, who reported something unusual when travelling over the section of track, meant teams could immediately put measures in place to control the problem.
However, hourly tests show the ground is still moving underneath several tracks on the West Coast main line.
All services are still running but are being diverted via Northampton, adding around 30 minutes onto journey times.
Passengers making essential journeys are being advised to check www.nationalrail.co.uk or with train operators Avanti West Coast and London Northwestern Railway.
Ellen Wintle, infrastructure director for Network Rail’s West Coast South route, said: “The sheer amount of rain we’ve had recently has caused the ground to slip, so we’re working hard to stabilise the area and put our plan into action for the repairs. Because this landslip was spotted early we have controlled the damage which means repairs can be carried out whilst keeping services running on the other tracks and we can continue to provide a safe and reliable railway for passengers and freight customers.
“I thank passengers making essential journeys during this period of national lockdown for their patience. I’d urge them to check National Rail Enquiries before setting off on their journey while we make sure passengers get the service they deserve on this absolutely vital part of railway between Milton Keynes and Birmingham.”
While the work to shore up the moving land is ongoing, trains still passing through the affected area are doing so at slower speeds.
The landslip has come after exceptional rainfall brought by Storm Christoph.
Passengers can check www.nationalrail.co.uk to see how the speed restrictions may impact on their journeys.
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About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.