Network Rail

Network Rail: preventing future landslips at Bearsted cutting

Network Rail engineers will be conducting extensive work at Bearsted 'cutting' - where soil or rock from a relative rise along a route is removed - in order to prevent potential landslips, as well as improving local drainage and signalling.

From Saturday 24 to Sunday 25 July, and Saturday 7 to Sunday 15 August, no trains will run between Maidstone East and Ashford International stations

The cutting at Bearsted is over 150 years old and needs ‘soil nailing’ – a method of strengthening for safety and resilience.

More than 2,000 of the 6,000+ required soil nails will be placed in the lower reaches of the cutting. Meanwhile, engineers will take the opportunity to work on power supply feeder cabling between Harrietsham and Charing.

Network Rail will also address a number of other earthwork, drainage, track and signalling maintenance issues, which include track realignment, rail grinding/ reprofiling and flood mitigation. During other station closures, they will also benefit from several maintenance works.

Fiona Taylor, Network Rail Route Director for Kent, said “line closures are always a last resort for us because of the disruption they cause passengers, but are sometimes unavoidable. Extreme weather, as a result of climate change, is having a significant impact on our Victorian railway embankments.”

“The works at Bearsted will make the cutting secure for a long time. We’re scheduling them to cause minimum disruption, when fewer people are using services, so that passengers will benefit from the works as soon as possible.”

Over the last 10 years, there have been a few occasions of unplanned disruption for passengers – such as the New Year’s Day 2021 landslip- as engineers scurried to Bearsted cutting to fix the weather-related movements.

Network Rail

Scott Brightwell, Train Services Director at Southeastern, said “it’s vitally important that Network Rail carry out this essential work along this part of our route. Reducing the risk of landslips will really help to improve reliability for our passengers. We are working on the alternative travel arrangements and we will publish more detailed information for our customers in the coming weeks."

Closing the rail line for 9 consecutive days will cause less disruption, rather than over the course of a high number of weekends. The closure has also been cautiously planned for the summer school holidays, when commuter numbers are usually lower.

Rail Technology Magazine latest edition APR/May 22

RTM APR/May 22

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion: An essential agenda for UK Rail's future

Our April/May 2022 edition of RTM is now live, packed full of insights and analysis of rail projects, innovations, and ambitions across the UK network. Jump in and hear from the likes of Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen on how they’re supercharging rail in the region, hear from RIA Chief Executive Darren Caplan as he outlines why ED&I is essential to the future of rail, and Alan Pattison breaks down the unique work which went into rebuilding Soham station, alongside much, much more…


View all videos
TransCityRail Banner


South \ 29 09 22
North \ 10 11 22
Mids \ 10 02 23

TransCityRail is a series of regional, interactive and insightful events across the country bringing together leaders, collaborators, problem solvers and innovators in a creative and invigorating way.

This series of events supports and informs the whole of the rail industry and connects suppliers with buyers, specifiers, leaders and decision-makers looking to procure a wide variety of innovative products and services for their region.


The Green Rail Revolution

Maria Machancoses, Director of Midlands Connect discusses the importance of HS2 to the Midlands and the UK, their collaborative work with the Department for Transport, and how we need to embrace the railways again.

More articles...

View all