Network Rail has confirmed that the rail line between Leamington Spa and Banbury will reopen next week after repairs to the landslide at the Harbury Tunnel have progressed more quickly than expected.
The section of line was closed following a landslide on 31 January and Network Rail had expected clearance of the 350,000t of material to take until Easter to complete.
Network Rail’s contractor Murphy has been working on site 2 hours a day to fast track the work. Murphy was already on site working on a slope stabilisation scheme when an unknown fault triggered the deep-seated landslide.
“Harbury cutting has suffered from landslips for more than 150 years. We have secured the cutting and made it safe and will carry out long term repairs which will significantly reduce the chances of similar incidents in the future,” said Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne.
Network Rail and Murphy are expected to remain on site for several months after the railway reopens to complete the stabilisation work and carry out additional investigations of the surrounding area.