Thursday 4 Feb 2016
Trains to resume on Monday after West Line landslip repairs
Rail services on the West Line between Carlisle and Newcastle will resume on Monday, 8 February as engineers carry out the final repairs to the railway following a huge landslip in January.
Engineers have been on site at Farnley Hough, near Corbridge, since Thursday, 7 January clearing over 35,000 tonnes of soil and debris away from the site after the wettest month on record caused a nearby drainage pipe to break.
Passengers are today being thanked for their patience while the huge rebuilding job has been carried out, with Network Rail today confirming that the work is almost complete and that services will return to normal from Monday.
Rob McIntosh, route managing director at Network Rail said: “I would firstly like to apologise to passengers the disruption this has caused and thank them for their patience during the recent weeks. I would also like to thank the community living near the site of the slip for their ongoing patience and understanding with what has been a significant rebuilding project which is set to carry on for many weeks.
“The unprecedented weather which led to the landslip, and which has continued throughout the clear up, presented us with a series of difficult engineering challenges but I am pleased to confirm that the work has gone to plan and that passenger services will resume from Monday.”
Hexham MP Guy Opperman said: "I must pay tribute to the workers from Network Rail who have worked night and day to get the Tyne Valley line back on track. I visited the site myself and can honestly say it was one of the biggest engineering problems I have ever seen. Over 35,000 tons of earth, trees, and debris have to be made safe, moved and then reinstated. The reopening of the line is good news for everyone along the Tyne Valley."
Alex Hynes, managing director for Northern Rail said: “We are delighted to see our train services resuming on the line from Monday. Our customers have been extremely patient while Network Rail worked on this challenging project and we’d like to thank them for this level of understanding. We will be offering compensation to customers, more details of which can be found on our website (northernrail.org). I’d also like to thank the onsite engineers and our people for their commitment to keeping our customers moving.”
Aerial photographs of the site showed the full extent of the damage caused by the landslip and the size of the clear up job that has followed. After initially diverting the running water away from the site, engineers had to begin clearing away the fallen debris while making sure not to cause any further landslips by stabilising the bank. Once that was done, repairs were carried out to the track itself to get the line ready for service again.
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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 4.8 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.