An ‘extremely significant’ landslip has closed the railway line between Leamington Spa and Banbury, outside Harbury Tunnel in Warwickshire for several weeks.
Network Rail took the decision to close the route for at least one week to allow for an investigation to determine the scale of the problem, which became apparent at around 1500 on January 31.
NR says that after an initial assessment it is estimated that around 350,000 tonnes of material on the embankment near the tunnel will need to be removed.
Engineers have been monitoring the site to see if the landslip continues to move and to see if it’s safe to begin a detailed assessment, which may take several days. Remote sensing techniques are being used to monitor the landslide and remedial works will begin as soon as it is safe to do so.
The area outside Harbury Tunnel is a known problem area, experiencing elevated levels of ground water. Engineers are working with local landowners to try to rectify and control the situation safely.
Chiltern Railway and CrossCountry routes have been affected. Bus replacement services are operating between Leamington Spa and Banbury, while a revised service has been put in place between Banbury and Marylebone, Birmingham and Leamington Spa, and Stratford-upon-Avon and Leamington Spa.
- For more on this story, see RAIL 768, published on February 18.