Track and signalling


Weekend of heavy rain causes landslide chaos across the UK

A weekend of extremely heavy rain in certain parts of the country has led to multiple line closures as landslides caused disruption and damage.

On Sunday, a landslip at Dinas Rhondda in Wales closed the line between Porth and Treherbert after 150 tonnes of mud and rock was swept across the track.

In Scotland meanwhile, the line between Fort William and Mallaig remains closed after a similar incident caused land to slide down a mountainside and pile across the track through the night between Sunday and Monday.

Both incidents are currently being attended to by engineers who are working to repair the track and make safe the surrounding areas, with passengers asked to use replacement buses while the railway stays closed until further notice.


Bill Kelly, chief operating officer for Network Rail in Wales and Borders said that passenger and staff safety was the “key priority” when considering repair works but that engineers still had a “large amount of soil” to remove from the line.

Bethan Jelfs, customer services director for Arriva Trains Wales, added: “A landslip at Dinas Rhondda as a result of poor winter weather conditions is causing a challenging situation for some of our services.

“Customer safety is our upmost priority but it is also vital that customers still have travel options so we are working closely with our partners in Network Rail to minimise the effects of the disruption whilst providing a replacement bus service on the route.”

With more heavy rain forecast for the upcoming weekend, engineers are working to complete the repairs as soon as possible.

In Scotland, recovery works are expected to start today and may take several days to complete.

David Dickson, ScotRail Alliance infrastructure director, said: “Our engineers are on-site assessing the damage and working to put plans in place repair to the line.

“We will reopen the railway as soon as possible, but significant work is required to clear the line and stabilise the slope above.

“We are grateful to customers for their patience during the disruption and buses are running between Fort William and Mallaig to help keep people on the move.”

Network Rail recently completed work on a stretch of the West Coast main line between Watford and King’s Langley where a serious landslip occurred in September 2016.

The repairs cost a total of £4m and involved installing over 1km of rock netting, with work taking place over a 14-month period.

Images: Above, Dinas Rhondda. Below, Glenfinnan. Network Rail

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.


Andrew Gwilt   24/01/2018 at 06:09

My reaction to this is. Were the passengers and the train driver ok. As the landslide happened. Could of be far worse. Did the driver applied the brakes when the landslide occurred.

Not A Parody, Honest   24/01/2018 at 09:15

No, he just ploughed straight through it causing multiple fatalities.

Andrew Gwilt   26/01/2018 at 23:54

Perhaps you are right.

Add your comment


rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Union to continue with controversial four-day Easter Weekend strike

16/03/2018Union to continue with controversial four-day Easter Weekend strike

Union members working for South Western Railway (SWR) are to go through with a four-day strike running across both bank holidays over the Easter ... more >
NR slapped with £730,000 fine for Gloucester freight derailment

16/03/2018NR slapped with £730,000 fine for Gloucester freight derailment

Network Rail has been ordered to pay £733,000 fines after a court found that its failure to adequately maintain track had caused a freight ... more >
Network Rail sees more than £200m in retail sales in Q4 2017

15/03/2018Network Rail sees more than £200m in retail sales in Q4 2017

Retail sales at Network Rail managed stations grew by 3.5% in the final quarter of 2017, it was revealed today. Between April and December 2017 ... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

How can UK rail become a global leader?

06/03/2018How can UK rail become a global leader?

Alison Dervis, EY director, explains why more diverse thinking, innovation and industry collaboration will help deliver transformative change to the railway industry. From late Georgian steam engines, to the multibillion-pound civil engineering projects of modern day, Britain’s railways have a legendary and inspiring tale to tell of... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Smart Ticketing: The way ahead

13/03/2018Smart Ticketing: The way ahead

Jacqueline Starr, managing director of customer experience at the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), runs through the nationwide progress in rolling out ... more >
A benchmark year for HS2

13/03/2018A benchmark year for HS2

Jim Crawford, managing director of Phase 1 at HS2 Ltd, discusses the many critical activities set to take place this year as the mammoth high-spe... more >
The North has a plan

13/03/2018The North has a plan

There has always been an incredible thirst for change in the north. Now, there is finally a plan robust and forward-thinking enough to make it ha... more >
EWR: Getting it right

13/03/2018EWR: Getting it right

Peter Austin, delivery director at East West Rail Company (EWRco), argues that completing the link between Oxford and Cambridge as quickly as pos... more >

rail industry focus

  • 08/12/2017A game changer for Midland Metro

    The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) updates RTM’s Luana Salles on the latest projects taking place across the growing Midland Metro...
  • 09/11/2017Testing tomorrow's technology today

    David Brazier, site manager and area sales manager for the UK & Ireland at OMICRON electronics, tells RTM’s Luana Salles about the major...
  • 09/11/2017What next for safety?

    As rail businesses edge towards their target of zero injuries, improving safety performance can plateau. Amey’s sector director for rail, Lee...
View all News


Transforming travel in the north west

06/02/2018Transforming travel in the north west

RTM’s Josh Mines talks to Robin Davis, head of new trains at TransPennine Express (TPE), about the huge rolling stock change journey the co... more >