Rail passengers across the Thames Valley have faced misery today after a landslide blocked part of the line from Oxfordshire to the Midlands.
The landslide happened on Saturday afternoon near Harbury Tunnel in Warwickshire. The incident closed the line between Banbury and Leamington Spa.
It means services on the Chiltern Line - are seriously affected. Network Rail says it's still too dangerous to access the site as three hundred thousand tonnes of earth and rock is still moving. Callum Watkinson reports.
The interviewees are: Liam Sumpter from Network Rail; and Thomas Ableman from Chiltern Railways.
The line remains blocked between Banbury and Leamington Spa due to a landslip, so there are no trains are running along that line.
Engineers say there is the potential for further ground movement, so they expect the line to be closed until at least Saturday 7 February.
Two routes are currently affected:
- Chiltern Railways trains between Birmingham Snow Hill / Birmingham Moor Street / Stratford-upon-Avon and London Marylebone
- CrossCountry trains between Manchester Piccadilly / Newcastle and Bournemouth / Reading / Guildford
There has been an extremely significant landslip in the Harbury area between Leamington Spa and Banbury affecting both train lines and the tunnel. After an initial assessment it is estimated that around 350,000 tonnes of material will need to be removed and the line between Leamington Spa and Banbury will have to remain closed for at least one week to allow for an investigation to determine the scale of the problem.
Engineers are currently monitoring the site to see if it continues to move and to know if it’s safe to begin a detailed assessment, which may take several days. This is a known problem area experiencing elevated levels of ground water and engineers continue to work with local landowners to try and rectify and control the situation safely.
Customers using Chiltern Railway and Crosscountry services are asked to check the National Rail website before they travel for any service modifications www.nationalrail.co.uk
Services between Manchester and Bournemouth and Newcastle, Reading and Southampton are currently being disrupted. There are bus replacement services operating between Leamington Spa and Banbury (and between Leamington Spa and Oxford for Sunday 1 Feb only). A revised service is in effect between Banbury and Marylebone, Birmingham and Leamington Spa, and Stratford upon Avon and Leamington Spa. Passengers for London are encouraged to drive to Banbury and use the large multi-storey carpark there. For those travelling north, Warwick Parkway is the best station to drive to.
The Hastings railway line has reopened after a series of landslips but there are still delays. Tom Savvides has reaction from passengers, Southeastern, MP Amber Rudd and Network Rail.
After almost two months of round-the-clock work, Network Rail engineers will reopen the Hastings to Tonbridge railway line to passengers tomorrow morning.
Three serious landslips in late March and early February caused considerable disruption to passengers’ journeys.
Network Rail had hoped to fully re-open the route in early March, but the Whatlington slip moved again, despite considerable work having taken place to fix it.
Buses have replaced trains between Battle and Robertsbridge since January 30.
Test trains were run over the repaired section of line for the first time on Sunday (March 30), before the start of passenger service this morning.
Network Rail has thanked passengers for their patience.
A vital train line in Hampshire reopened this morning after it collapsed during the biggest landslip in Britain in the floods. 80 metres of embankment fell away at Botley in torrential rain at the start of last month.
It has caused weeks of disruption for passengers travelling between London, Eastleigh, Fareham and Portsmouth.
Video. It was the biggest landslip in Britain during the floods, closing a rail line and causing chaos for commuters. But it is hoped a vital train line will re-open tomorrow, bringing some relief to passengers next week.
Around 80 metres of the embankment collapsed in torrential rain in Hampshire at the start of last month. It has meant a main line between London and Portsmouth has been closed.
Trains were diverted, and replacement buses brought in, with effects on key commuting towns like Basingstoke and Farnborough. It could be three months before everything is back to normal for fear of more landslips. But for now, at least, trains may start running again.
Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports.
Network Rail engineers are on target to complete work to rebuild three collapsed sections of railway in Sussex by Monday.
Landslips at Stonegate, Whatlington and Battle have meant a month of disruption for passengers on the line from Hastings to Tonbridge.
After four weeks of round-the-clock working, Network Rail has repaired the slips to the extent that trains will be able to run along the whole length of the route from the start of service on Monday morning.
Network Rail’s route managing director, Fiona Taylor, said: “This has been a very difficult time for passengers. We have now restored the track across the most serious of the landslips, at Stonegate, after delivering more than 10,000 tons of stone to repair the damage.
By Monday Southeastern will be able to get their trains running again across all three repaired slips. There will need to be more work on the route in the coming months, although very much less disruptive, as we get to grips with the remaining damage at other locations.”
Engineers are dealing with forty landslips on, or near, rail tracks in the south east. Normally there are just three across Kent and East Sussex each year. Tom Savvides talks to Fiona Taylor and Derek Butcher from Network Rail.