Work to repair the Settle to Carlisle railway after a major landslide occurred in 2016 is heading into its final months.
The line was closed in February 2016 when around 500,000t of earth gave way at Edan Brows near Armathwaite in Cumbria, causing the ground below the railway to slip 2.5m below its normal level during the weeks that followed.
The line reopened in March 2017, but work to strengthen a section of the 70m high embankment which gave way is still ongoing.
Initial works to stabilise and allow the line to reopen included building a 75m long, 3.5m high, retaining wall with a 12m wide, 1m deep reinforced concrete footing beneath the tracks, which is supported by two rows of high strength piles driven into the bedrock.
The £23M scheme is now concentrating on packing 20,000t of “vast” boulders into the bank of the River Eden to guard against erosion caused by swollen flows following heavy rain which triggered the February 2016 slip.
Woodland cleared as part of the repair will also be replanted with tree species approved by Natural England when the scheme finally finishes in March next year.
Network Rail said it had worked with Natural England and the Environment Agency throughout the work to ensure the area’s unique ecology had been protected and enhanced.
Network Rail London North Western route managing director Martin Frobisher said: “It’s not until you see the aerial shots that you appreciate the sheer scale of this repair. The landscape is as rugged as it is beautiful. The Victorians certainly did choose a wonderful spot to build a railway.”