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Network Rail hopes Botley landslip repairs will be completed by mid-March

Network Rail has said that the landslips on a Hampshire section of rail line are among the worst it has ever had to tackle with 80m of embankment needing reconstruction.

Main contractor Osborne has had to construct a 2km haul road to access the affected area in order to bring in the 20,000t of material needed to restore the failed embankment and restore rail links between Fareham and Eastleigh.

Work is being carried out 24 hours a day in order to reopen the rail line by mid-March.

“The work Network Rail has been carrying out to reopen the line around Botley has been impressive,” said Rail minister Stephen Hammond. “They undertook a massive engineering task just to prepare the site before they could start dealing with three separate landslips along one mile of track. Lessons are being learned from the extreme weather and I’ve asked Network Rail to examine how the network can be made more resilient in future.”

The deep-seated failure in the clay, silt and sand fill embankment resulted in a 15m high and 80m long section of the rail embankment being affected.

Osborne is installing a 100m long sheet piled retaining wall on either side of the embankment, which will be connected together using tie rods.

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