Salisbury landslip: Trains could run by 'end of March'

Salisbury landslip: Trains could run by 'end of March'

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 1:01pm 4th March 2020. (Updated at 8:14am 5th March 2020)

4 minute read

Network Rail say they have an 'interim solution' for the 'complicated' problems near the Laverstock South junction.

The train lines between Salisbury and Romsey have been CLOSED since February 18th, due to a landslip making the tracks unsafe.

Today (Wednesday 4th March), Network Rail have posted some further details on their social media: 

Network Rail's also said there is a chance that some trains could run on those lines within weeks, but it's not a quick fix: 

"The field next to the site is still significantly flooded. This complicates the repairs as it is our only access to the area for heavy machinery, however engineers have developed an interim solution which should allow us to reopen by the end of March.

"This involves using specialist equipment directly from the track to install 100 metres of sheet steel piles that are 12.5 metres deep.  Pairs of sheet piles will also be installed on the opposite side of the track and the two sides are 'tied' together to support the embankment.

"Once the line is accessible through the flooded field, we will deliver the full repair by installing a full sheet pile wall from the foot of the embankment."

Salisbury Landslip March 2020
The field next to the train line is still affected by floodwaters, meaning access for engineers hasn't been possible

In the meantime, there's replacement buses running between Salisbury and Romsey.

Mark Killick, route director for Network Rail Wessex, said:

“This landslip is a serious challenge and has been complicated by significant flooding of the field next to the embankment.

"Our absolute priority is to safely reopen the line for passengers and I can now confirm that engineers have devised an interim solution that will see the line re-opened by the end of March. I’d like to thank passengers for their continued patience while the line is closed."

ROAD CLOSED

The repair work on the embankment also means that Salisbury's Milford Mill Road has been CLOSED for the time being.

A roadworks notice has been submitted by Network Rail to Wiltshire Council for the road to potentially be shut until 1st May.

One Network Roadworks Map Milford Mill Road March 2020
Milford Mill Road itself has also been left flooded in recent weeks

Spire FM has contacted Wiltshire Council for further details.

HAMPSHIRE MP REACTION 

Caroline Nokes represents Romsey as well Dean and Dunbridge, where trains pass through on their way from Salisbury.

She's met with South Western Railway bosses to get an update from them about the situation, and said:

"SWR have a real challenge with the landslip, as it is in an area not accessible by road, so a new roadway will have to be built across a field that is currently flooded. It sounds as if it will be at least a month before trains are running again, and possibly significantly more given it is weather dependent.

"I stressed the need to keep passengers updated about the progress of engineering works and the need to keep staff informed. It is extremely frustrating for passengers to turn up at stations and to have no idea when the next service will be running. SWR are reviewing their communication procedures to ensure staff have the information passengers request. They have increased the number of station staff and provided them with electronic tablets to receive the latest information about disruptions."

SWR STATEMENT

South Western Railway, which runs services along that route, is keeping in touch with engineers about the work.

Christian Neill, Deputy Director of Customer Experience at the train operator, said:

“We’re pleased Network Rail are making progress repairing the embankment, and are working closely with them to ensure services return back to normal as quickly as possible.

“In the meantime, we’re operating train services from Romsey to Southampton via Chandlers Ford and Millbrook, which connect with bus replacement services between Romsey and Salisbury via Mottisfont & Dunbridge & Dean, until the lines fully reopen.

“We thank passengers for their patience, and are sorry for the continued disruption to their journeys.”

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