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Second landslide in a week hits rail services

Hexham landslip January 2016

A section of rail in the North East has been closed after a landslide that occurred just an hour and a half after the line fully reopened from a previous slip.

Network Rail said the West Line would be closed for “several weeks” between Hexham and Prudhoe after the second landslide in a week.

Heavy rain caused 140t of earth to slide onto the line near Hexham in Northumberland on Tuesday 5 January.

Normal service only resumed on the line at 6am on Thursday 7 January – but the line was closed by a second landslide a mile to the east at 7:30am.

Network Rail chiefs said today that with rain continuing to fall, the earth was still moving, making it unsafe for the clean-up job to get underway.

Shuttle buses will operate between Hexham and Prudhoe while the track is assessed and made safe.

Network Rail route managing director Rob McIntosh said: “The safety of passengers, local people and the workforce is our priority and the area will need to be fully assessed and any repairs carried out before the line can reopen and services can return to normal.

“Our teams worked tirelessly to clear 140t of earth and debris from the line earlier in the week but due to the continuing rainfall a second landslip has followed nearby. We will continue to work alongside Northern Rail to keep passengers up-to-date on our progress.”

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