Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Landslip repair work blocks London Euston-Birmingham rail route

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Tens of thousands of train passengers are suffering severe disruption as repairs are carried out following a landslip on one of the UK’s busiest rail routes.

The incident between Coventry and Rugby blocked a section of the West Coast Main Line between London Euston and Birmingham New Street, Network Rail said.

Avanti West Coast and London Northwestern Railway services are affected.

Some passengers are facing the addition of several hours to complete their journeys, with long diversions and rail replacement buses between Coventry and Northampton.

Following the landslip, which happened on Sunday, Network Rail closed the line in both directions on Monday night to carry out repair work.

The line is not expected to reopen until Tuesday afternoon.

Phil Barnes, operations director for Network Rail, said: ”Network Rail engineers have been removing vegetation from the embankment to allow better assessment of the landslip near Rugby.

“A plan is now in place to remove soil before checking the track to allow services to run.

“To do this safely, we are closing both lines overnight on Monday and Tuesday morning. We are working to reopen both lines on Tuesday afternoon.

“Our team is working around the clock to get trains running again as soon as we can, and we are sorry for the disruption to journeys this is causing.”

Jonny Wiseman, London Northwestern Railway customer experience director, said: “I would like to thank our customers for their continued patience while this important safety work is completed.

“Customers travelling between Birmingham New Street and London Euston on Tuesday should continue to check their journeys before setting out and consider using alternative routes if possible.”

Dave Whitehouse, safety and security director at Avanti West Coast, said: “The landslip between Rugby and Coventry means our services in both directions between the West Midlands and London Euston are unable to operate as normal while Network Rail complete the emergency repairs.”

Last month the Chiltern Main Line between London Marylebone and both Birmingham Moor Street and Oxford was closed due to a landslip near Bicester, Oxfordshire, causing major disruption.

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