Monday 12 Dec 2016
Iconic Settle-Carlisle railway line on schedule to re-open in March 2017
- London North Western
An iconic railway line in Cumbria that suffered a half-million tonne landslip last December is on schedule to re-open on 31 March next year.
Contractors installing the enormous concrete and steel structure that will sit beneath the railway are now on site with the manufacture of the remaining parts of the structure near completion.
The £23million engineering construction will sit below the railway to stabilise a section of the gorge bank above the River Eden which gave way in February this year.
Rhiannon Price, project manager for Network Rail said: “The viaduct-like structure we’re building will safeguard this section of railway for generations to come. If the land gives way again, the railway will not.
“This is a complex repair job many months in the planning. We are now focused on getting this iconic and much-loved line fully reopened right the way to Carlisle as soon as possible, which is on schedule 31 March 2017.”
Paul Barnfield, Regional Director at Northern, said: “The work carried out on the Settle to Carlisle line is nothing short of remarkable.
“We are delighted that, in the near future, we will once again be able to provide a full rail service to our customers travelling between Yorkshire and Cumbria on this iconic line.
“We know it has been a difficult 12 months for our customers, but with the completion of the engineering work, we now look forward to being able to welcome passengers for many years to come.”
Douglas Hodgins, Chairman of the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line said: "The re-opening of the line right through to Carlisle on 31st March will be a huge achievement and a boost to Anglo-Scottish traffic especially. The scale and significance of the work being done at Eden Brows cannot be overstated."
Once the railway is reopened Network Rail plans to carry out earthworks improvements to the foot of the embankment below the line and above the River Eden.
This will include drainage ditches and pipework, rock armour to guard against erosion when flows are high, and finally replanting trees over the entirety of the affected area.
Great care is being taken to ensure ecology is protected, including badger setts and spawning salmon. Natural England will advise on the tree replanting.
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 36,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.