A railway in the North East of England is about to see major investment to protect against erosion caused by the River Tyne, whilst also allowing a popular footpath to reopen. Network Rail will begin works this month to prevent further deterioration after river erosion has caused a section of Keelman's Way Footpath in Wylam to collapse, forcing its closure.
The upcoming project will protect the rail route between Wylam and Clara Vale, seeing £3.1m of investment such as rock armour installation and the reinstatement of a slope on the embankment. These measures will greatly reduce the erosion risks, enhancing the safety and reliability of rail services across the region for years to come, whilst allowing a popular walking route to reopen for the general public.
Jonny Ham, Lead Portfolio Manager for Network Rail, said:
“This important investment will protect the railway between Wylam and Clara Vale, making sure it can keep trains running safely and reliably for future years.
“We’re pleased to be working with local stakeholders and environmental experts to deliver this intricate project. The work will also mean this section of Keelman's Way Footpath can reopen, which we know will be well used by the community.”
Though the majority of works are set to begin later this month, Network Rails construction team will begin the installation of a compound this week to begin the prep work. The future works will not cause any disruptions for train services along the route and are set for completion by February 2023.
Liz Twist, MP for Blaydon, said:
“The Keelman’s Way footpath and the railway line are really important links for my constituents in Clara Vale, Crawcrook and beyond. Getting the project to this stage has been a great example of collaborative working between local ward Councillors, Network Rail, Gateshead Council, the Environment Agency and many other people and organisations. I would like to thank the Network Rail team for their work on resolving this issue.”
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