Impact of landslips on rail network explained

Landslip Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Landslips are a major issue for Britain’s railways, causing severe disruption and delayed trains.

They are often caused by long periods of heavy rain which makes the ground saturated with water.

This can lead to soil, rocks and earth becoming displaced and falling onto train tracks, making them unusable.

Damage is assessed by Network Rail engineers before debris is removed from the track, as once a landslip has started further incidents are more likely.

Trackside slopes often need to be repaired, stabilised and strengthened.

This can involve installing drainage or steel rods, or even altering the profile of a slope.

Emergency services at the scene near Stonehaven Credit: Jane Barlow/PA

Network Rail says it is reducing the impact of landslips by identifying which sites are at risk using helicopters equipped with laser imaging technology.

Once a location is deemed to be prone to landslips, motion sensors and CCTV is fitted to detect soil and rock movement.

These sensors send an alarm to signallers who can stop trains until the area has been inspected by engineers.

Network Rail says it also sends people and equipment to high-risk areas once flood warnings are issued.