HomeInfrastructureGeotechnicalHastings line reopened after 20 days

Hastings line reopened after 20 days

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER SIGN UP

The railway line between Tonbridge in Kent and Robertsbridge in East Sussex has reopened, having been closed since a landslip at High Brooms was detected by remote sensors in the early hours of Monday 1 February.

Since then, work has been taking place to protect the railway along a 150-metre stretch of cutting.

While the railway was closed, Network Rail took advantage of the situation and also repaired a potential landslip at the southern end of Wadhurst Tunnel.

Fiona Taylor, Network Rail.

Fiona Taylor, Network Rail route director for Kent, said: “It is absolutely essential that our railway is safe to travel on, and the work we’ve done will help to improve the resilience of this line for years to come.

“By working smartly, we have been able to accelerate some of the repairs needed on a nearby site at Wadhurst Tunnel. I am pleased that we were able to fully reopen the London to Hastings line on Saturday.

“This line, and several others across the Southern region, are unfortunately suffering from landslips caused by the higher than average rainfall during this and several recent winters. This is driven by the changes we’re seeing in our climate. We aim to detect these failures in advance, repairing them rapidly and safely as part of our plans to make our railway resilient for the future.”

A previous speed limit which was in place on the line has also been lifted, allowing faster journeys for passengers. Soil nailing will now be completed at the site, with the rail line open, to finalise the works.

BAM Nuttall used a ‘spider’ excavator to reduce the need for rope access on the steep slopes.

The slippage at High Brooms was picked up by remote sensors which had been in place following two previous smaller slippages in the same area. The permanent fix along approximately 150 metres of the 160-year-old cutting included re-grading it, soil nailing and placing 3,215m² of rockfall netting over the top to ensure no more slippage occurs. Over 5,000 tonnes of spoil was removed from the site to make the repair.

Due to the complex nature of the local clay-based ground conditions, the team used a ‘spider excavator’ to reduce the need for rope access.

Huw Jones, BAM Nuttall.

Huw Jones, divisional director rail for contractor BAM Nuttall, commented: “This work demonstrates the ingenuity, responsiveness and broad-based skillset of our team. The nature of the soil conditions in this location meant that our ground engineering expertise was invaluable.

“Despite the current lockdown, a normal rail services in the South East is vital to the regional economy. Working hand-in-hand with our rail supply chain partners, we were able to get the line open again less than three weeks after the slip was detected. I’d like to thank the whole team for its dedication and commitment to excellence over this period.”

The Hastings line. (map created from OpenStreetMap project data, collected by the community)

LEAVE A REPLY

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...
NEWSLETTER SIGN UP