Network Rail is upgrading railway embankments between Manchester and Buxton to protect the railway from landslips. They are being made less steep and the ground made more secure in two locations near Chapel-en-le-Frith in the picturesque Derbyshire Peak District.
The railway has remained open while the work is being carried out, so as to minimise disruption to essential passenger and freight services on the route. The line carries quarried stone for the construction industry – including for railway and road building.
Senior programme manager Stephen Townley said: “This essential work will make this busy passenger and freight route more reliable in the future.
“In these challenging times, the importance of freight traffic has been brought into sharp focus, so completing this work safely with minimal disruption to trains is hugely important.
“We’re also working differently so that we can continue to deliver essential work while following guidelines on social distancing. This is to protect our railway staff who are working tirelessly to keep the country moving during the Covid-19 crisis.”
Local MP Robert Largan added: “This is really positive news. These works will help improve train reliability on the Buxton line, which will be very welcome for my constituents who travel from Buxton, Dove Holes, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Whaley Bridge, Furness Vale and New Mills.
“I’m very grateful to those who are continuing to work on this essential project, during this very difficult time.”
A year ago, Network Rail invested £14 million in new sidings to facilitate freight movements on the Buxton to Manchester line. The current work commenced in January 2020 and is expected to be completed during May.