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Landslip disrupts cross-country rail services

A massive landslip has closed a rail line in the South Midlands.

Network Rail estimates that 350,000t of material will need to be removed from the scene in Harbury, meaning the line between Leamington Spa and Banbury will remain closed all week.

The incident – described by the rail infrastructure operator as “extremely significant” – occurred at 3pm on Saturday 31 January.

Engineers were monitoring the site, which has high levels of groundwater, on Sunday to decide when it would be safe to begin a detailed assessment.

The line closure has affected services between Manchester and Bournemouth; and between Newcastle, Reading and Southampton.

Readers' comments (6)

  • Robert M J Millar

    I trust that no one was on the slip at the time.

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  • The large piles of stone and the plant at the crest, together with the very recently installed counterfort drains, suggests that there is more to this than the article covers.

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  • Neil Walmsley

    I was on the first train to be turned back to Banbury - at approx 3pm on Saturday. We were told that the train 3 mins ahead had passed through safely but reported a possible problem. The conductor said that there had been extensive works in this area last year. The photo may be an image from then?

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  • Living locally I can confirm that major works have been taking place at the site since last summer due for completion early summer this year.

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  • The photo appears to show a large slope failure, so presumably taken since the failure at the weekend.

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  • It is difficult to see from this photo the exact form of the slip but it looks far more deep-seated than could have been rectified with counterfort drains. It appears a huge amount of money has already been spent following last year's slip, to no avail it would seem. If the heave at the toe along the railway lines is as bad as it looks, it will be along time before this line reopens, and as a resident of Leamington Spa who uses Chiltern Line this is depressing. We await updates from Network Rail with interest.

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