Monday 19 Sep 2016
Passengers on move again after Watford tunnel reopens
London Midland passengers were on the move again today through Watford tunnel after it reopened following last Friday’s land slip.
Two lines - one north, one south - were shut over the weekend as Network Rail engineers recovered two damaged trains and repaired the railway.
Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail, said: "I’m pleased to confirm today we have reopened the both the lines through Watford tunnel and trains are running again.
"Our orange army engineers made good progress over the weekend. They cleared all the slip debris off the tracks and removed the damaged trains from the tunnel. They also repaired the railway, including replacing 50 concrete sleepers, and welded in new sections of track."
London Midland’s managing director, Patrick Verwer, said: “I would like to apologise for the disruption over the last few days. I would also like to thank our passengers. Everyone has shown great patience and understanding while many responded to our appeal to delay journeys or take alternative routes. This made it easier for people who had no option but to use the reduced services while Network Rail colleagues repaired the track.”
The slip on the embankment at the north entrance to the tunnel was hit by a southbound train on Friday, causing some of its front wheels to come off the tracks. Another train, which entered the tunnel heading north at the same moment, clipped the southbound train.
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.
Every day, there are more than 4.7 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.
We are building a better railway for a better Britain.