Latest Rail News

13.03.15

Harbury landslip line re-opens ahead of schedule

The railway between Leamington Spa and Banbury has re-opened today after January’s major landslip at Harbury Tunnel

The 05:15 Chiltern Railways service from Birmingham Moor Street to London Marylebone was the first passenger service to travel through the area this morning following the 350,000 landslip on 31 January.

187 Harbury

Harbury cutting has suffered from landslips since it was built more than 150 years ago, but Network Rail has managed to re-open the railway less than six weeks after the landslip occurred, and three weeks ahead of the schedule it had set itself. 

The rail infrastructure owner said that the long-term repairs to the cutting are expected to take several months. During this time, it will remove more than 300,000 tonnes of material to regrade the slope of the cutting to make it more stable and less susceptible to landslips. 

Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail, said: “The reopening of the railway, three weeks ahead of schedule, is welcome news for passengers and freight operators. It is also a testament to the hard work of hundreds of people who have worked 24 hours a day to make it possible. 

“Everything was done to reopen this essential line – which is relied upon by thousands of passengers every day and used to transport thousands of tonnes of freight – as safely and quickly as possible.”

harbury landslip work taking place to repair 

Rob Brighouse, managing director at Chiltern Railways, added that the Chiltern Mainline is a vital link for both commuters and business travellers and he is delighted to restore direct services between London and the West Midlands.   

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Richard Mott   13/03/2015 at 15:51

Given the longevity of the problem at this location, would it not now make sense to extend the tunnel? The cut exists, only the cover is needed. After consolidation, the new land above would make a useful area on which to build. Or is there a reason this cannot be done?

Neil Palmer   15/03/2015 at 07:10

No doubt a requirement for 5 years of endless planning permission seeking and fifteen environmental studies to make sure there isn't a protected worm somewhere that would be derprived of daylight if a tunnel was built.

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