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Engineering solution found for Appleby landslip, but line remains closed

A massive landslip causing closures on the Settle to Carlisle line is a step closure to being solved after engineers developed a repair solution.

The 500,000 tonne landslip, caused by severe erosion of the embankment base near the River Eden, recent repeated storms and saturated ground, occurred on January 31 and has forced the Northern Rail line to close between Appleby and Carlisle, with a replacement bus service in place.

Network Rail announced today that the line will stay closed for many months, although they do not know exactly how long, while they carry out repairs at Eden Brows, near Armathwaite, Cumbria, involving major earthworks to stabilise the embankment and building a structure underneath the affected section of railway to support it.

Rhiannon Price, Network Rail’s project manager for the Eden Brows repairs, said: “We have carefully considered many repair options and we are satisfied the one we’re going with is the best.

“Our aim is to do a thorough job that leaves the Settle to Carlisle railway line in better shape than it was before this land slip. As well as tackling this problem we intend to bring forward other, less major jobs we have earmarked on the shut section of line.

“We are acutely mindful of the impact on communities served by this line, including businesses reliant on tourist trade. We are working to fix this slip as quickly as possible.”

Between 4.30pm and 7.00pm today, Network Rail and Northern Rail will host a public drop-in event in Appleby station waiting room for local people to ask questions about the closure.

Today and tomorrow Network Rail staff, supported by members of the Friends of Settle Carlisle Line group, will be on a two-day walk-about in the communities affected by this closure, including Appleby, Lazonby, Kirkoswald, Armathwaite and Langwathby.

The line between Appleby and Carlisle was closed on 9 February after Network Rail's aerial and ground surveillance detected that a 130-metre-by-70-metre section of the Eden gorge embankment was giving way.

Since then 80 engineers and geotechnical experts – half based in an office, half on site – have been working on the problem.

The line was originally due to reopen by the beginning of March, but repairs have been complicated by the size of the landslip, the remote location and the fact that the area of land it affects, which is more than 130m long and 70m wide, is still moving.


Michael Still   03/03/2016 at 21:38

It is important to reopen this line. Most importantly we want to travel on it in on our holidays in May.

Manh Truong   04/03/2016 at 08:09

FC Barcelona 5 - 1 Rayo Vallecano 03/04/2016 ,La Liga Round 27 Highlight Resalte

Manh Truong   04/03/2016 at 08:10

FC Barcelona 5 - 1 Rayo Vallecano 03/04/2016 ,La Liga Round 27 Highlight Resalte

Tony   04/03/2016 at 13:08

Michael, I am afraid there is no chance that this line will be open by May. However, you may still travel on this beautiful scenic route, other than between Appleby and Carlisle which is bus only. May I suggest that you use between Settle and Appleby, you will still see some fantastic scenery.

Stpaddy   04/03/2016 at 13:54

As this is now going to be an extended closure, couldn't the replacement bus service to Carlisle run from a suitable station north of Appleby - ideally Armathwaite , leaving more of the line open for passengers, and with faster journeys through to Carlisle? I realise temporary track or signalling changes may be required to facilitate this.

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