Network Rail has said that it needs to remove a further 60,000m3 of material from the Hatfield Colliery site over the next few weeks in order for limited rail services to resume on 8 July.
A landslip in a spoil heap at the colliery adjacent to the Doncaster to Wraby rail line on 9 February resulted in the four rail lines being moved 5m vertically and 15m laterally.
Analysis of the failure found that the landslide material was holding back 200,000m3 of MRF, which is mainly mudstone in mix of granular and slurry-like material that was formed from washing and coal fines reclamation operations. The failed cell was 20m deep.
“This has been one of the most complex recovery operations in recent years,” said Network Rail route managing director Phil Verster. “In all, around 1M.m3 of material needs to be moved – that includes the slipped material itself and also enabling movements to create storage such as bunds and dams.
“We have made excellent progress moving the material and also moved the water main in order to create a space to which the MRF is being moved. We have bought new land at Ashfields to create new tipping sites. That land has been stripped of topsoil which will be used for landscaping once the tip is complete.
“We have to move approximately 60,000m3 more spoil before the work to reinstate the track can begin in the coming weeks. A section of around 500m of all four lines will be replaced, including switches and crossings and the associated signalling and power supplies. Even then there will be more work to complete while trains run past the site.”
Network Rail has said that full services are expected to resume at the end of July.
Hatfield colliery, which is owned by ING Bank and operated under contract by Hargreaves, declined to comment on the work. No figures have been put against the repair work, or details released of who will be liable for the cost.