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Published on : Monday, January 18, 2016
Engineers working to repair a landslip near Corbridge on the line between Newcastle and Carlisle say they plan to re-open the line in three to four weeks as long as their work is not further affected by the weather.25,000 tonnes of earth need to be removed from the site at Farnely Haugh after exceptional rainfall caused drainage to become overwhelmed, leading to the landslip.
Network Rail route managing director, Rob McIntosh, today visited site to see the progress of work to restore train services. Commenting on the disruption being caused to passengers he said, “I want to thank passengers for their patience while we complete this delicate repair. The north of England has taken a battering from the weather. In the main we have been able to keep trains running and make sure passengers are able to complete their journeys. Unfortunately this landslip means the line between Prudhoe and Hexham will be blocked for another three or four weeks.
“The team had to divert the water which was feeding the slip and make sure it had stopped moving before they could start work. They have also been liaising with Historic England to protect the three Roman forts and possible Roman road which are buried in the fields above the landslip. This week they have removed the trees from the slope and are making preparations to begin the job of carefully removing the slipped earth and shoring up the cutting to prevent it from moving again in the future.
“We know how disruptive this is for passengers and are working as quickly as we can without compromising safety on site. If there is any opportunity to restore train services sooner then we will do so. We will work with Northern Rail and other local stakeholders to make sure passengers have the best information available to help them to plan their journey.”
25,000 tonnes of material needs to be excavated and removed from site to repair the landslip. Engineers plan to remove the vast majority of this by rail which will allow 200 tonnes per hour to be removed from site.