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HomeInfrastructureNetwork Rail completes landslip repairs between Rainham and Sittingbourne

Network Rail completes landslip repairs between Rainham and Sittingbourne

Network Rail has finished emergency work to repair a landslip at Newington in Kent, allowing the railway to reopen between Rainham and Sittingbourne. It had closed for seven days so that the work could be carried out safely.

The landslip occurred on the afternoon of Friday 23 February following heavy rainfall. Upon visiting the site, Network Rail’s geotechnical and structures experts discovered a crack 40 metres long and material that had slipped around five metres down the embankment, resulting in the railway through this area needing to be closed for safety reasons.

A repair plan was developed with Network Rail mobilising a team of engineers and equipment, beginning on 26 February, with engineers working around the clock to stabilise the embankment with the aspiration to reopen this stretch of railway on Monday morning (4 March).

Following the efforts of the engineers, the line reopened as planned this morning with the first service travelling through this area being the 05:05 Gillingham to Sheerness-on-Sea Southeastern service.

To do this, the embankment was rebuilt, involving the excavation of the slipped material before creating a new profile for the embankment. Steps were cut into the slope before being backfilled with 3,000 tonnes of stone, helping to reduce the gradient and strengthen the embankment.

The new stone was transported to site by an engineering train in 50 wagons, with a rail-mounted digger used to deposit the stone onto the embankment. The old slipped material was removed and transported away by road.

Noise and vibration sensors were installed so that Network Rail was able to continually monitor, and, where possible, reduce disruption to residents living nearby.

Bob Coulson, Network Rail’s Kent route infrastructure director said: “I’m really sorry for the disruption customers experienced following the landslip. The safety of our customers and colleagues has always our number one priority and we didn’t take the decision to close this critical part of the railway lightly”.

“Our teams have now completed emergency repairs, having worked tirelessly over the last week to repair and stabilise the embankment as quickly as possible, working closely with our colleagues at Southeastern to develop a plan so that our customers were still able to get to where they need to go.

“I want to thank customers and local residents for their patience and understanding while we completed this work.”

Kevin Warn, general manager south at Southeastern, said: “On behalf of everyone at Southeastern, I’d like to sincerely thank our customers for their patience and our colleagues at Network Rail for their work to get this important stretch of railway reopened and on time.

“Normal services can now resume between Sittingbourne and Rainham in the morning and we look forward to welcoming our customers back. I’d also encourage customers who were disrupted but haven’t yet claimed their compensation, to do so. We recognise this was a majorly disruptive event and we are keen to help customers wherever possible”.

Anyone delayed by an additional 15 minutes on their journey as a result of last week’s disruption can claim Delay Repay compensation on Southeastern’s website.

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