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  1. ITV Report

'Remarkable' progress made to re-open Settle to Carlisle railway

The work taking place at Eden Brows on 16 February. Credit: Network Rail

"Remarkable" progress has been made to re-open the Settle to Carlisle railway line, according to Network Rail.

Around 500,000 tonnes of earth gave way in February 2016 after the devastating flooding in Cumbria throughout the winter.

The land slip caused the ground below the railway to slip 2.5 metres below its normal level during the weeks that followed, and led to a £23 million repair project, which engineers described as one of their most complex ever projects.

The landslip at Eden Brows. Credit: Network Rail

In order to stop the railway from collapsing again, even if the land does, two rows of steel tubes filled with concrete are being embedded into the sloping bedrock of the Eden gorge, north of Armathwaite.

  • What happens next?

Staff have now started laying the concrete platform on which the track will sit on.

Throughout February 3,000 tonnes of concrete is being delivered to the site, which will fill the steel tubes embedded in Eden Gorge.

In total 42 deliveries will be made to the work site between early February and early March.

Once the railway is reopened Network Rail plans to carry out earthworks improvements to the foot of the embankment below the line and above the River Eden.

This will include drainage ditches and pipework, rock armour to guard against erosion when flows are high, and finally replanting trees over the entirety of the affected area.

Network Rail says it is taking care to ensure the area's ecology is protected, including badger setts and spawning salmon.

Natural England will advise on the tree replanting.

This complex repair job has taken months to plan we are now focused on reopening the line to Carlisle, which is on schedule for 31 March.

– Rhiannon Price, project manager for Network Rail