Tuesday 3 Mar 2020
Successful emergency landslip repair reopens southbound West Coast main line to passengers a day early
- Region & Route:
- North West & Central
Emergency work to secure a landslip hit section of the West Coast main line near Warrington has successfully reopened the railway for passengers a day ahead of schedule.
Dutton Viaduct near Acton Bridge was forced to close southbound on Sunday 1 March. The land slipped during Storm Jorge, following the wettest February on record.
Network Rail engineers spent 12 hours last night (Monday 2 March) placing 380 tonnes of rock to strengthen the damaged embankment.
Up to 100 tonnes more reinforcement stone will be added when trains aren’t running over the next two nights.
As the work went better than expected, the railway reopened this morning a day earlier than predicted.
However, passengers are being advised their journeys will take longer than usual, with a 20mph speed limit over the viaduct in force while ground conditions are closely monitored.
Phil James, director for Network Rail’s North West route, said: “I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we’ve been working hard to make Dutton Viaduct safe for trains again.
“Many people’s journeys over the last 48 hours will have been tough and for that I can only apologise. Our priority was to make the railway safe and get it back up and running again as soon as we could, and I’m glad to say we’ve done this faster than expected.”
As the emergency repairs are only a temporary fix, trains have to run at a reduced speed of 20mph while engineers continue to assess the stability of the ground.
Because of the speed restrictions journeys will take longer so passengers are advised to check www.nationalrail.co.uk or with their train operator before they travel.
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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.