Hook landslip - Repair work underway at damaged railway line

Repair work is under way on a section of railway track at Hook in Hampshire after a huge landslip left track hanging in mid-air.

The 44-metre collapse happened a week ago following a period of heavy rain, and meant serious disruption for passengers trying to travel between London and Basingstoke.

South Western Railway (SWR) apologised for the problems and said it hoped to restore some direct services from Monday if the weekend engineering work was successful.

A spokesman for SWR said: " This short-term solution that will increase the capacity of the line between Basingstoke and Woking, allowing some, but not all, direct services to be reinstated 

Trains will also be able to call at Hook, Winchfield, and Fleet stations again, however trains will only serve Hook in the direction of Basingstoke, due to the position of the landslip.

A minibus service will operate between Hook and Winchfield for those needing to disembark at Hook. 

Services from Monday 23 January (subject to works being completed) 

  • Two trains per hour between London Waterloo and Weymouth 

  • One train per hour between London Waterloo and Portsmouth Harbour via Eastleigh 

  • One stopping train service per hour between London Waterloo and Basingstoke, with no additional morning peak services 

  • One train per hour between London Waterloo and Salisbury and Exeter St Davids, with additional peak services terminating at Basingstoke  

  • A limited rail replacement bus service will operate alongside the train service between Basingstoke and Woking 

  • Trains from London will not call at Hook, due to the location of the landslip. A minibus service will instead operate between Winchfield and Hook. 

Network Rail have posted a video illustrating the work involved in restoring the embankment:

It will, however, take 'a number of weeks' to make the repairs permanent and fully restore services.

Network Rail Wessex Route Director Mark Killick said: “We’re going to move the track onto a stable section of the embankment so that we can have a line running in each direction.

“While it’s a very unusual approach to change the track layout, it means we can run more trains and give customers a much better experience while we fix the embankment.

“The only downside is that we will need to close the railway again once the embankment is repaired to restore the track layout to its original position, but it’s gives the least disruptive solution for our customers.

“In the meantime, we will be able to continue the embankment repairs, while running a significantly improved train service. We’ll have hundreds of engineers working round the clock, but we still expect the fix to take a number of weeks, as it’s a very complex engineering project.

Both sets of rails were originally at the same level Credit: Network Rail

A rail replacement bus is operating this weekend between Basingstoke and Woking.

Services to London Waterloo from Weymouth, Bournemouth, Southampton and Portsmouth Harbour via Eastleigh are terminating at Basingstoke.

The company advised passengers to check before they travel, with a list of schedule changes published on its website.