Network Rail on Course to Bring Storm-Hit Railway Back into Full Service

Image Courtesy of Network Rail

Work is well underway to repair a stretch of Surrey railway damaged by a landslip in the Christmas storms.

A 40m stretch of embankment near Ockley station collapsed after intense and prolonged rain on Christmas Eve, pitching more than 1,000 tonnes of spoil down the slope. Considerable work is being undertaken just to get machinery to the site, as it is not accessible from the road.
Engineers are on site and doing all they can do get the railway back up and running as soon as possible.

Network Rails route managing director Tim Robinson said: It has been a considerable challenge just to get to this stage, as weve had to build a new road to bring our plant to the site of the slip. Now we are underway things are going well, and weve begun to install a wall of sheet piles. These are partly buried in the ground, to form a new base to the embankment. We will then need to deliver between four and five thousand tonnes of new material to fill the gap before we can begin to run trains again.

A limited service of peak-hour trains has been operated by Southern over the undamaged line furthest from the slip.

Mr Robinson added: This has been a difficult time for passengers on this line and we appreciate their patience. The weather over Christmas really was unprecedented and we are gradually getting the railway back to where we want it.

Network Rail plans to return the line to full service in early to mid-February. After that the former footpath will be returned to its previous location and the area replanted.

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