HS2

17.02.17

Settle to Carlisle line on track for March reopening

Considerable progress has been made on plans to reinstate the iconic Settle to Carlisle railway ahead of its scheduled reopening next month.

The railway was closed in February last year after flooding to the River Eden in Cumbria caused 500,000 tonnes of earth under the railway to slip on 31 January 2016, meaning that the tracks fell 2.5 metres below their normal level.

The £23m repair work  involves engineers driving two rows of high-strength piles (steel tubes filled with concrete) into the bedrock of the Eden gorge, north of Armathwaite – something that engineers hope will futureproof the track in the area.

Network Rail has installed a large number of the piles and work has started on laying the concrete slab that will create a platform for the track to sit on – throughout February a further 3,000 tonnes of concrete is also being delivered to the site to be used in the steel tubes.

The works were initially announced in March last year by the infrastructure owner as it warned passengers that the line would remain closed for months, although today’s update will come as a relief to many who have been forced to use a replacement bus service whilst the tracks were being fixed.

Rhiannon Price, project manager for Network Rail, who will feature in the Feb/March edition of RTM, had positive words for the works: “The project continues to progress well, with more of the important work completed.

“This complex repair job has taken months to plan we are now focused on reopening the line to Carlisle, which is on schedule for 31 March.”

Once this work is finished, Network Rail will move on to improve the earthworks at the foot of the embankment below the line and above the River Eden. These works will create drainage ditches and rock armour to guard against erosion when flooding causing flows to be high.

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Comments

Andrew Gwilt   17/02/2017 at 14:58

Glad that the Settle-Carlisle line in Northwest England is due to reopen at the end of March after heavy torrential rain and storms has caused widespread and devastating floodings which has caused not just roads and rails to be cut off but the whole area that is been affected including communities and livestock and the damage from the floods did exceed well over £1million. But Network Rail are still making good progress to get this important major line reopened on the 31st March.

Manchester Mike   17/02/2017 at 23:26

This is a line I so desperately need.

Michael Still   18/02/2017 at 19:27

This great news. A lot of passengers have been inconvenienced for a year and more. When we traveled on it the train was full with passengers standing. Northern Rail has made this possible. Bit of luck the trains will be longer.

J, Leicester   20/02/2017 at 10:36

Quite saddened that RTM haven't mentioned the service trains run using Tornado - understand that it's not necessarily in the remit of the subjects you usually cover, but it was a massive event relevant to the S&C reopening and as a genuine network service it could have technically fallen under a number of site categories. Either way, the route can't reopen soon enough, and I look forward to travelling the full length soon!

Edward Evans   07/03/2017 at 16:08

Yes, it is excellent to hear news that the repairs to the Settle-Carlisle railway will be completed within time and on budget. However, that is where the good news ends for passengers! The West Coast Mainline north of Preston is closed on two weekends during April 2017. It is therefore with disbelief that Network Rail, and the concerned Operators are forcing people for Carlisle and Scotland onto buses at Preston station. I would have thought that with the recent money spent on the repairs, as well as the Intermediate Block signaling, and track upgrade, surely the operators could run a diesel shuttle service between Preston and Carlisle via Settle during this Engineering work. Virgin trains certainly has the units, as they managed a similar exercise last year between Carlisle and Glasgow, when the main route via Lockerbie was closed. I also am surprized at the attitude of Network Rail, which after spending another chunk of public money, is happy for its asset not to be used, though is willing to pay for Coach services up the M6. Surely it is time for everybody in the railway industry to see some common sense and use the rail assets that are available before rails primary competition is used. Remember, study after study has shown, that passengers wish to travel by train and not bus!

Malcolm Storey   27/03/2017 at 01:35

I totally agree with Edward Evans comments regarding the Settle - Carlisle route. Why do Network Rail almost invariably revert to coach alternatives when there are none operator problems such as engineering shutdowns and weather problems? I feel so strongly about this that I am more than happy for my email address to accompany these comments.

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