Works to re-open the railway following the massive Eden Brows landslip will require construction of a structure as well as major earthworks, Network Rail has confirmed.
The line has been closed between Carlisle and Appleby since 9 February when the incident near Armathwaite, which involved about 500,000t of earth and an area 130m by 70m, was detected.
A team of 80 engineers and geotechnical experts– half on site and half office-based – have now agreed on a way to repair the damage and reinstate the railway.
A structure will be built to support the railway, although no further details have been released. The job is expected to take “many months” with an exact timescale impossible to predict as the earth is still moving.
Exden Brows repair diagram
Network Rail project manager for the Eden Brows repairs Rhiannon Price said: “We have carefully considered many repair options and we are satisfied the one we’re going with is the best.
“Our aim is to do a thorough job that leaves the Settle-to-Carlisle railway line in better shape than it was before this land slip. As well as tackling this problem we intend to bring forward other, less major jobs we have earmarked on the shut section of line.
“We are acutely mindful of the impact on communities served by this line, including businesses reliant on tourist trade. We are working to fix this slip as quickly as possible.”
Richard Morris, chairman of the Friends of the Settle Carlisle Line group, said: “We are working closely with Network Rail to get the very best of outcomes for this very special railway line. This is an enormous job and we do appreciate what is being done – and how long it is likely to take.”