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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

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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.

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