Yarnton road over rail bridge following repairs, via Network Rail

Partial reopening to Oxford and Worcester line after successful repair works

The railway line between Oxford and Worcester officially reopened for services today, following successful repair works after a collapsed wall and landslip event that occurred earlier this month on Friday 10th February at Yarnton near Oxford.

A side wing wall of the road over the rail bridge at Yarnton, Oxfordshire, collapsed onto the rail line, causing a severely hazardous situation, thus prompting Network Rail engineers on site immediately to repair the damages and construct protective barriers around the rail line. Despite these efforts, further landslips continued to occur in the embankment adjacent to the bridge, leading to a closure of the line to ensure safety for passengers.

The unstable ground represented a major risk to the stability of the surrounding road and its utilities, with the landslide exposing a gas main, further adding elements of complexity to the repair project.

Network Rail engineers conducted an investigatory process last week, attempting to identify the most suitable options to stabilise the embankment, working with a specialist civils and engineering contractor to design metal sheet piling that will act as a retaining wall to support the embankment and road.

Engineers worked tirelessly over the weekend to install these metal sheet piles, accompanied by 22 soil nails. As a result of these efforts, this stretch of the railway reopened this morning, accompanied by a temporary speed 20mph restriction that will remain in place with a watchman until Network Rail has completed the second phase of longer-term repairs to reinforce the structure and ground.

The next phase of construction will begin towards the end of next week, with expectations for it to culminate in a couple of weeks, seeing works conducted overnight as to ensure no disruptions to passenger services.

Nicky Hughes from Network Rail, said:

“We would like to thank passengers for their patience and understanding while we have made these vital repairs at Yarnton.

“Our team of engineers has worked tirelessly alongside our specialist civil engineering contractors Balfour Beatty, to design and install a solution that has enabled us to quickly and safely reopen the line to passenger services tomorrow morning as planned.

“The road over rail bridge at Yarnton is 170 years old – from the Victorian era – and one of over 2,000 similar aged bridges we have across our Western route. We take the structural integrity of these bridges very seriously and regularly monitor their condition and conduct detailed examinations every six years. Over the coming weeks our team of engineers will return to this site to begin the second phase of longer-term repairs which will further reinforce the structure and ground around the railway.”

Want to know more about the opportunities to become a key supplier to the UK rail industry? Attend TransCityRail and access an exclusive marketplace of buyers from Network Rail, HS2, Train Operators, Major Contractors, and all other tiers of the supply chain. For more information and to secure your place click here.  


RTM Feb/Mar 24

Rail station: Metamorphosis

This issue highlights the latest topics within the rail industry, from new West Midlands railway stations to decarbonisation Govia Thameslink Railway.

More articles...

View all
TransCityRail Banner


Mids \ 29 02 24
South \ 11 07 24
North \ 07 11 24

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.


TransCityRail SOUTH

The South of England accounts for a significant portion of the UK’s rail investment strategy and is home to 7 sub-national transport bodies that have all placed rail infrastructure at the centre of their strategic investment plans.

Every year industry leaders from Network Rail, HS2, Train Operators, major contractors and transport bodies converge at the TransCityRail SOUTH conference, exhibition and networking dinner for a day of collaboration, conversation and engagement.

At this year's event, we're discussing...