A team of Network Rail engineers is taking advantage of the current closure of the Hastings line to accelerate work on the site of a potential landslip at the southern end of Wadhurst tunnel in East Sussex.
Movement was picked up by early warning alarms in December, and the railway was protected immediately with temporary measures. However, as the Tonbridge section of the Hastings line is already closed until 20 February to repair a landslip at High Brooms, engineers are taking the opportunity to repair this section too.
The London to Hastings line was constructed in the 1850s along difficult and steep terrain. Extremely heavy and prolonged rainfall over the winter, combined with the complex and unstable geology, means that Network Rail now needs to undertake this extra work as soon as possible.
Fiona Taylor, Network Rail route director for Kent, said: “While it’s always regrettable to have to close any section of line, this winter’s weather has taken its toll on the Hastings Line and doing this work at Wadhurst Tunnel now means we can reduce the amount of time we need to close the line during planned works during the rest of this year.
“It is absolutely essential that our railway is safe to travel on and this work will reinforce and protect the line for years to come.
“Thank you to our passengers and lineside neighbours for their patience and understanding whilst we carry out these important works.”
The line is planned to reopen on Saturday 20 February.