HomeInfrastructureGeotechnicalRailway closes as engineers stabilise cutting at Templecombe on Somerset/Dorset border

Railway closes as engineers stabilise cutting at Templecombe on Somerset/Dorset border


The recent warm weather and the reduction in train services due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) has meant that this is an ideal time for Network Rail to sort out some of the more troublesome earthworks around the railway network.

That may be coincidence, as much of the work was planned some time ago. But drier ground conditions are certainly making the work less onerous.

Preparing for the nine-day closure.

The latest area to be tackled is in the Templecombe area in Somerset, between Yeovil Junction and Gillingham in Dorset, as engineers work on a cutting that suffered severe damage last winter.

This section of railway will be closed for nine days between 13 and 21 June as engineers remove thousands of tonnes of earth left by a landslip. The work, which will be carried out by framework contractor Osborne, is vital after the damage caused by heavy rain during ‘Storm Katie’ back in December 2019 meant that Network Rail had to impose temporary speed restrictions on trains passing through the area.

The work will involve stabilising the cutting slope that was damaged by Storm Katie in December 2019.

The closure will allow Network Rail to build a retaining wall to protect the line and to remove the speed restrictions. Additionally, the opportunity will be used to carry out general maintenance in the area and to refurbish some of the stations along the route.

Mark Killick, Network Rail.

During the work, no South Western Railway (SWR) services will run between Yeovil Junction and Gillingham (Dorset). Trains between Exeter St David and Salisbury will be diverted via Westbury. There will be a shuttle train between Salisbury and Gillingham and a bus replacement service between Gillingham and Templecombe.

Network Rail route director for Wessex Mark Killick said: “I want to say sorry to passengers needing to travel during the works. 

“Once complete, we will be able to remove two speed restrictions to provide improved journeys for passengers, as well as protecting the area from future landslips.”

Sean Hebden, Osborne.

Sean Hebden, framework lead for Osborne, said: “Our teams have been working extremely hard in the lead up to this important railway closure to ensure our works are completed as planned.

“We’re aware of the disruption this closure will cause to passengers and will be working 24/7 to ensure we make the most of the opportunity to support the future safe and timely passage of trains.”

Further strengthening works to other areas of the cutting at Templecombe will take place between the end of June and September.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest news

Improvements carried out on major London route

A revamp of 1980s signalling systems over the weekend saw services stopped temporarily between London Victoria and East Croydon. Trains were diverted to London Bridge...

Northern takes control of major rail facility

Northern has confirmed it now has full control of Neville Hill depot in Leeds. Previously, the depot – along with its 550-strong staff of engineers,...

HS2 trains to be built in UK – but by whom?

German train maker Siemens has launched a legal challenge to HS2 awarding its rolling stock contract to a joint venture of Hitachi Rail and...
- Advertisement -

More news

Operator appeals for more considered use of emergency alarms

Passengers hitting the emergency alarms have cause 17 hours of delay in only half a year for one operator. From 1 April to 4 September...

Rail safety cyber security expert lands professor role

Rail safety cyber security specialist Dr Emma Taylor has taken up the role of visiting professor at Cranfield University. The appointment involves lecturing in the...

Night Tube set to return next month

After being suspended because of the pandemic, Transport for London (TfL) has said that the Night Tube is set to make a comeback in...