Engineers working to repair a landslip near Corbridge on the line between Newcastle and Carlisle say they plan to reopen the line in three to four weeks as long as their work is not further affected by the weather.
(Picture Courtesy: Network Rail)
Engineers plan to remove 25,000 tonnes of earth from the site at Farnley Haugh after exceptional rainfall caused drainage to become overwhelmed, leading to the landslip. The vast majority will be taken away from the site by rail, which will allow 200 tonnes to be removed per hour.
The team had to divert the water feeding the landslip and make sure the earth had stopped moving before they could start work. They have also been liaising with Historic England to protect the three Roman forts and possible Roman road that are buried in the fields above the landslip. This week they removed the trees from the slope and are making preparations to begin carefully removing the slipped earth and shoring up the embankment to prevent it from moving again in the future.
Network Rail route managing director Rob McIntosh visited the site on Thursday 14 January to see the progress of work to restore train services.
“I want to thank passengers for their patience while we complete this delicate repair. The north of England has taken a battering from the weather. In the main we have been able to keep trains running and make sure passengers are able to complete their journeys. Unfortunately this landslip means the line between Prudhoe and Hexham will be blocked for another three or four weeks.
We know how disruptive the repair work is for passengers, and are working as quickly as we can without compromising safety on site. If there is any opportunity to restore train services sooner then we will do so.
We will work with Northern Rail and other local stakeholders to make sure passengers have the best information available to help them to plan their journey.” Rob McIntosh
Real-time journey information can be found at www.journeycheck.com/northernrail or by tweeting the team @northernrailorg.