Network Rail apologises after landslip disrupts trains between London Waterloo and Basingstoke

  • Watch: Major disruption expected after landslip at Hook in Hampshire, damages main line from Waterloo to Basingstoke, Southampton and the West.

Network Rail has apologised to passengers after a landslip brought services between Basingstoke and London Waterloo to a standstill.

Following days of heavy rain - a section of the embankment in Hook collapsed on Sunday, leaving one of the tracks hanging in mid-air.

Passengers are being warned of major disruption and the landslip is expected to have a knock-on effect, making other train lines busier than usual.

South Western Railway says customers travelling between Basingstoke and Woking this week should only do so if their journey is absolutely necessary.

Engineers haven't revealed how long it will take to repair.

The 44-metre landslip happened on the embankment to the north east of Hook station in Hampshire, on the line from London to Basingstoke.

The damage has left only two of the four-track railway passable, with both these tracks designed for London-bound trains only.

South Western Railway is advising customers to check before they travel and to plan alternative transport for journeys to or from the south or west of Basingstoke to London.

A large landslip in Hampshire has left one of the tracks of the main line from London to Basingstoke hanging in mid-air. Credit: Network Rail

Network Rail Wessex route director Mark Killick said: “This is a huge landslip and will have a massive effect on customers. The main line to Basingstoke is the spine of our railway and there will be knock-on impacts across the route.

“I can only apologise for the scale of the disruption and please ask that customers check before they travel this week, not just on the affected section, but all the way up the line to London Waterloo, where many of the trains that would use this section of railway start and finish their journeys.

“We’re still assessing the damage and it’s difficult to put a detailed timescale in place, but we know it’s going to be at least a week.

“We will need to stabilise the embankment, essentially stopping it moving, and then rebuild the railway where it has slid away.

"We’ll keep everyone informed of our progress and I can only say thank you to everyone for their patience and apologise again for the disruption. Please look out for further updates from South Western Railway on the revised timetable, once this has been able to be confirmed.”

A Network Rail spokesman explained that the embankment was made of a mixture of London clay and other local soils which had become saturated after days of heavy rain.

He said: "The slip happened when the soil gave way along a 44-metre section of 10m-high embankment, sliding out from underneath the tracks, in what engineers call a 'rotational failure'.

"Network Rail and its suppliers are working on designs for the work needed to repair the railway, which will give a clearer idea of timescales.

"In addition, a train plan to provide journey options for customers on the route will be published as soon as possible."

South Western Railway says on Tuesday (17 January), there will be no through trains to London Waterloo from Exeter, Salisbury, Weymouth, Bournemouth, Southampton, Winchester or Portsmouth via Eastleigh.

  • Services from Weymouth to London Waterloo will now terminate at Basingstoke and then run back to Weymouth.

  • Services from Portsmouth Harbour to London Waterloo via Eastleigh will now terminate at Basingstoke and then run back to Portsmouth

  • Services from Exeter St Davids and Salisbury to London Waterloo will now terminate at Basingstoke and then run back

  • The stopping services that usually start from Basingstoke to London Waterloo are cancelled

  • An extremely limited shuttle will operate between Basingstoke and Woking, calling at Farnborough Main and Brookwood, connecting with other services from Woking to London Waterloo

  • Trains are unable to call at Hook, Winchfield or Fleet stations - please do not attempt to travel to or from these stations by train as you will not be able to do so.