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Railway could be closed until June after spoilheap disaster

The damage to the railway from the landslide at Hatfield colliery in South Yorkshire is “a lot worse” than Network Rail first thought, and could now take until June to repair.

Network Rail engineers are beginning to remove the spoil after the landslide in mid-February buckled and skewed the track out of place in Stainforth.

stainforth railway

Services between Doncaster and Goole/Scunthorpe were going to be cancelled for eight weeks while repairs took place, but the work is now expected to take up to 18 weeks to complete.

The spoil heap has now stopped moving, allowing the team to conduct more detailed surveys of the damage and plan restoration of the railway.

First TransPennine Express (FTPE) has an amended train and bus timetable in place for passengers affected by the damage and updates are available at stations and online.

Phil Verster, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “In recent days it has become apparent that the damage to the railway is a lot worse than we originally thought and the repair work will be more complex. Clearly our priority is to get rail services running again as quickly as possible but we need to do so safely.

“The complexities of this job mean that it will take 16 to 18 weeks to complete, approximately until the end of June. However we will not be in a position to confirm this timeline until more extensive investigations have been completed in the next few days. We will do everything possible to reduce the time it will take to get the railway back.”

Richard Allan, area director at Northern Rail, said: “During the forthcoming weeks, keeping passengers informed and on the move is our priority. We’ve been working closely with our colleagues at Network Rail and FTPE to ensure they are aware of how this disruption can affect their journey.”

Nick Donovan, FTPE managing director said: “The damage caused by the spoil heap is extensive and Network Rail have advised us that the line will not be open for use until approximately the end of June. This is clearly not ideal for rail passengers and disruption to journeys is likely to be significant.

“Unfortunately there is currently no alternative rail route available to us although we will continue to assess and update our plans as needed.”

Rachel Lowe from Network Rail said after the initial landslip: “This is an absolutely enormous task. We will have to re-lay the whole area.”



Dafydd   01/03/2013 at 21:06

No alternative rail route? So where is the freight going then? The Brigg line is busy with all the extra, but given the will a path could have been found to put some sort of through service on, particularly given the airport services involve passsengers with lots of luggage. Sadly, these days operational convenience takes precedence over passengers convenience.

Ex Jarvis   02/03/2013 at 09:12

With the technolagy of this day and age I'm sure there could be a tempory road put in around the land slide but there again they had thata y cut backs thereifht be staff issues

David J   02/03/2013 at 09:55

Looking at the aerial photograph the cracks at the rear of the bulge seem to indicate a huge amount of slag on the move - if this is so taking it off the front will do no good as more will slip in from the back to replace it. This is a hug job!

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