HomeInfrastructureRepairs for flood-prone Northamptonshire tunnel

Repairs for flood-prone Northamptonshire tunnel

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER SIGN UP

A Victorian tunnel on the Northampton loop off the West Coast main line is receiving attention to stop it flooding, which it does frequently.

Water leaks through the walls of the 140-year-old Crick tunnel, causing tracks to flood and forcing trains to run at reduced speed. Between 2012 and 2020, freight and passenger trains travelling between London and the Midlands were delayed by the tunnel flooding for a total of 15,000 minutes – that’s more than 10 days.

Using pumps to clear the flood waters is often the only way to keep trains running.

Now, following discussions between train operators and Network Rail, and while passenger numbers are low during this latest period of national lockdown, a year’s worth of overnight weekend work is being condensed into just five consecutive days, between Monday 15 and Friday 19 March.

Believed to be the longest full closure of the tunnel since it opened in 1881, completing the work in one go will save the taxpayer £7.5 million – doing the tunnel drainage work conventionally over consecutive weekend shifts would take a year and cost approximately £11 million, whereas carrying out the work all at once over a five-day period is estimated to cost £3. 5 million.

James Dean, Network Rail.

Network Rail’s route director for the southern part of the West Coast main line, James Dean, said: “This speedy upgrade of Crick tunnel shows how the rail industry is coming together to get the West Coast main line in the best possible shape for passengers when they can return once coronavirus travel restrictions are eased.

“This is all part of our commitment to build back better as the country emerges from the pandemic.

“However, as the line will need to close for the major upgrade, I’d urge anyone still making essential journeys to check National Rail Enquiries, so they know what to expect when they travel.”

Gus Dunster, Avanti West Coast.

Avanti West Coast trains will be diverted between Rugby and Milton Keynes with changes to the departure and arrival times at London Euston. Gus Dunster, executive director of operations and safety for Avanti West Coast, commented: “Working with industry partners, we have amended our timetable between Monday 15 and Friday 19 March to facilitate Network Rail’s work at Crick tunnel, while protecting our vital services for key workers.

“As a result, the departure and arrival times at London Euston have changed. If customers are making an essential journey during this time, we strongly recommend they check before they travel,

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest news

RAIB to investigate Cambridgeshire level-crossing accident

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has launched an investigation into a recent incident in which a freight train struck a farm trainer in...

Railtex/Infrarail 2021 hailed a successful return to normality

The UK’s two leading rail industry trade exhibitions, Railtex and Infrarail, combined post-COVID in a welcome return to Birmingham’s NEC between 7 and 9...

Autumn Steam Gala to welcome 4953 ‘Pitchford Hall’

GWR steam locomotive 4953 ‘Pitchford Hall’ will feature at the Severn Valley Railway’s Autumn Steam Gala following a change to the lineup, taking the...
- Advertisement -

More news

Interim ORR report on Hitachi train cracks released

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has said in an interim review that Hitachi Class 800 and 365 trains had been affected by...

Can you “bear”-lieve it?19 teddies need reuniting with their owners!

South Western Railway (SWR) is hoping to reunite children with their beloved toy bears. In the last year, a total of 19 teddies have turned...

Second phase of Network Rail’s Network Operating Strategy gets underway

Network Rail has now launched the second part of its ten-year Network Operating Strategy, also known as Net Ops 2. The strategy recommends how to...
NEWSLETTER SIGN UP