Network Rail reopens Dorking-Horsham railway after 30 metre landslip: Piled wall Ockley awaiting backfilling

Tuesday 5 Jan 2021

Network Rail reopens Dorking-Horsham railway after 30 metre landslip

Region & Route:
Southern: Sussex
| Southern

Services are running again on the line between Horsham and Dorking after Network Rail engineers and contractors repaired a 30 metre landslip, not far from Ockley station.

The railway through Ockley runs on an embankment built from local Wealden clay in the Victorian period. A section of this just under a mile north of Ockley station became saturated during December’s heavy rains and slowly sunk under its own weight over the days between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.

500 tonnes of new material has been put in place to rebuild the railway where the embankment collapsed, supported by a new wall of sheet steel, embedded in the ground. Work was finished in time for the railway to reopen on Monday, 4 January.

Shaun King, route director, Sussex said:

“Following a landslip on the Mole Valley line near Ockley station at Christmas, engineers worked around the clock to stabilise the embankment, regrade the cutting slope and install 30 metres of sheet pile wall.

“The railway was successfully handed back on Monday, 4 January, and services are running between Horsham and Dorking again. Well done to all involved for doing a magnificent job in very difficult circumstances.

“I’d like to apologise to passengers for the disruption while we fixed things and also thank neighbours in the area for their patience while these emergency works were carried out.”

Angie Doll, Managing Director for Southern and Gatwick Express, said:

“I’m very grateful to Network Rail for their swift response to this incident and for making the line safe to open again. I’m sorry for the disruption caused by the landslip, and I join Network Rail in thanking everyone affected for their patience.”

Network Rail Southern region's route asset manager for geotechnics, Derek Butcher, said:

“The embankment was repaired by working 24 hours a day and we thank our contractors and employees who have worked around the clock to reopen the railway line. Not only did we repair the location of the landslip with 30 metres of sheet piled wall, we also managed to repair an additional 15 metre section with a king post wall. This will help improve weather resilience to the embankment for many years to come”

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Leonard Bennett

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