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Reprieve for waterlogged Ilkley Moor railway line


ENGINEERS IN Yorkshire last month completed a vital section of a £5M project to save the Leeds to Ilkley railway line from slipping down an embankment.

Contractor May Gurney installed 90 drains either side of a 1km stretch of track running across Ilkley Moor.

'Massive artesian pressures are forcing water through to the surface. Draining the water will stabilise the slope, ' said May Gurney Rail project manager Andries Liebenberg.

A series of 18m deep pipes have also been sunk alongside the railway to channel high pressure groundwater that is being forced to the surface.

These will connect to an interceptor.

Installation of two new 900mm diameter concrete culverts to divert water under the live railway line has been delayed because the fi st attempt using directional drilling was unsuccessful.

'We made three attempts to push the 50mm diameter pilot drill through, but we kept hitting boulders which we couldn't remove because of the railway line, ' said Liebenberg.

Scheme designer Atkins is now drawing up a pipe jacking solution. An oversized pipe will be pushed in to allow hand excavation of the culvert.

More drains and deep pipes will be installed along another section of track when the fi nal part of the project begins this month.

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