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Scottish line reopens after 1,000-tonne landslide turmoil

The Fort William-Mallaig line in Scotland reopened this week after nine days of closure caused by 1,000 tonnes of rock and mud spilling onto the track.

The initial disruption occurred last Sunday and continued throughout the night until Monday morning after severe weather conditions caused landslides high in the mountainous terrain.

Following the initial incident, a train was then caught in the debris after it struck the area of the landslide, but engineers have now re-railed and removed the vehicle from the site and undertaken repairs of the track and surrounding area.

Glenfinnan Jan 26 3

David Dickson, ScotRail Alliance infrastructure director, said the operations went to plan despite some difficult and unusual circumstances.

“The isolated location, and steepness of the slope above, has made this a complex recovery operation and we are grateful to customers for the patience they have shown during this period of disruption,” he explained.

The Fort William-Mallaig incident was the latter of two landslide incidents caused by the sustained weather conditions, with the other occurring at Dinas Rhondda in Wales where around 150 tonnes of mud and stone had to be removed from the line.

Network Rail engineers have removed over 150 tonnes of debris from the line between Porth and Treherbert

Services between Porth and Treherbert were suspended for a number of days but opened again during the middle of last week.

Bill Kelly, chief operating officer for Network Rail in Wales and the Borders, who is writing for the next edition of RTM, commented: “We have worked hard to reopen the line as quickly and safely as possible, with the safety of our passengers and workforce a key priority.

“We have worked closely with our partners at Arriva Trains Wales to keep passengers moving during the closure. We would like to thank passengers for their patience while we delivered this urgent repair work.”

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: Top and middle, Glenfinnan, Scotland. Below, Dinas Rhondda, Wales.

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Steve   30/01/2018 at 15:06

Well done to the orange army working in tough conditions

Andrew Gwilt   30/01/2018 at 21:07

Well done Network Rail Orange Army.

Andrew Gwilt   30/01/2018 at 21:15

The remains of the landslide has left a scar can be seen by air where the landslide occurred.

Mark Stay   31/01/2018 at 01:19

Very observant Andrew, Sudbury line next?

Andrew Gwilt   31/01/2018 at 08:42

Mark. Shut up. Enough ok.

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