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Settle to Carlisle rail repairs on track

Eden Brows 1

The Settle to Carlisle railway line in Cumbria, which suffered a 500,000t landslip last December, is on schedule to re-open on 31 March 2017.

Network Rail said that contractors installing the concrete and steel structure that will sit beneath the railway are now on site with the manufacture of the remaining parts of the structure nearing completion.

The £23M engineering construction will sit below the railway to stabilise a section of the gorge bank above the River Eden, which gave way in February this year.

“The viaduct-like structure we’re building will safeguard this section of railway for generations to come. If the land gives way again, the railway will not,” said Network Rail project manager Rhiannon Price.

“This is a complex repair job many months in the planning. We are now focused on getting this iconic and much-loved line fully reopened right the way to Carlisle as soon as possible, which is on schedule 31 March 2017.”

Northern regional director Paul Barnfield added: “The work carried out on the Settle to Carlisle line is nothing short of remarkable.

“We are delighted that, in the near future, we will once again be able to provide a full rail service to our customers travelling between Yorkshire and Cumbria on this iconic line.

“We know it has been a difficult 12 months for our customers, but with the completion of the engineering work, we now look forward to being able to welcome passengers for many years to come.”

When the railway is reopened, Network Rail said that it planned to carry out earthworks improvements to the foot of the embankment below the line and above the River Eden. This will include drainage ditches and pipework, rock armour to guard against erosion when flows are high, and replanting trees over the entirety of the affected area.

Network Rail said that great care was being taken to ensure the ecology at the site was protected, including badger setts and spawning salmon. Natural England will advise on the tree replanting.

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