Posted 13th June 2013 | No Comments

Landslip line to reopen next month

THE RAILWAY near Doncaster which was blocked by a colliery landslip in February is to reopen next month, Network Rail has announced. The route through Hatfield & Stainforth station was closed after a vast spoil heap moved towards the four-track line, effectively demolishing the infrastructure.

There had been fears that the route, which links Doncaster with stations and freight terminals towards the east coast, could have been closed until September, but Network Rail said trains will start using the line in the second week of July. However, a full timetable will not be possible for the first few weeks, partly because some drivers will need to refresh their route knowledge.

The first trains are set to run on 8 July, with the full timetable being restored three weeks later.

Network Rail route managing director Phil Verster said: "We are in the business of running trains yet this spoil slip has forced passengers on to buses for almost six months. I am grateful for their patience and understanding. I also thank freight customers who have been forced to take lengthy diversions to deliver essential goods upon which our economy relies.

"Because the line has been unavailable for so long we cannot run a full service from the first day the line is open. We are working closely with operators to reintroduce services as quickly and efficiently as possible. We will work with operators to give clear, timely guidance to passengers about which services are operating."

Passenger services are likely to restart with both Northern Rail and First TransPennine Express running a two-hourly train service, supplemented by buses. Network Rail said full details of the timetable would be published in the coming weeks.

Some engineering works on diversionary routes were postponed during the closure, but Network Rail also took the opportunity to carry out extra work in the area around the landslip while the line was out of use.

Some engineers are likely to remain at the landslip site until the end of the year.