Major works to prevent landslides on Hampshire railway line

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Network Rail engineers have completed a £2.28million project to prevent landslides on the line between Eastleigh and Fareham of Hampshire.

The line was closed for nine days between Friday June 24 and Monday July 3, with buses replacing trains during the shutdown.

A large part of the project involved reducing the grade of a railway trench near the Fareham Tunnel, where the line is cut deep into the hillside. Reducing the depth of the sides of the slope minimized the future risk of landslides that could be caused by earth movements under extreme weather conditions.

Twenty construction vehicles and ten trains dug and removed 5,000 tons of earth from the steepest side of the trench. The excavated earth was replaced by an 80 meter long retaining wall.

Aerial view of the Fareham Tunnel works. Credit: Network Rail.

Hundreds of engineers worked a total of 7,500 hours during the shutdown. They also carried out maintenance work on the track, switches, electricity, signaling and drainage.

In recent months Network Rail has also completed landslide prevention work at Tunbridge Wells, on the Ashford line near Bearsted, on the Hastings line and at Fairlie in North Ayrshire, while in Scotland meters of tilt were tested to provide the railroad with protection against landslides.

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Fareham tunnel landslide works. Credit: Network Rail.

Network Rail’s Wessex Route Manager Mark Killick said:

“We appreciate the week-long closure of the railway was disruptive, particularly following recent rail strikes, but this work was absolutely vital to keeping the line open and safe in the future.

“The most recent landslide on the line, at Botley in 2014, closed the road for six weeks. By completing this job in nine days, not only do we reduce the risk of landslides, but we get the job done in a much less disruptive way than repeatedly shutting down the line over the weekend.

“To make the most of rail access, we also carried out more than 30 additional works, from routine inspections to major track maintenance, ensuring we made a line more reliable. I would like to thank our customers and our railway neighbors for their patience during the completion of this major work.

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Night work at the Fareham tunnel. Credit: Network Rail.

SWR’s Director of Customer Experience, Christian Neill, said:

“We are very grateful to our customers for their patience during this major engineering work, which we know came immediately after the impact of the RMT strike on our network.

“However, it was the most effective and efficient way to deliver these essential improvements, which have been planned and scheduled to take place over many months. By spending time engineering a permanent solution, as well as taking the opportunity to perform other maintenance and enhancements, customers will now experience greater reliability on this section of railway. »

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