Posted 28th January 2021 | 2 Comments

‘Ground moving’ under West Coast Main Line

SOME trains between London Euston and Rugby have been diverted via Northampton, adding half an hour to journey times, after Network Rail was alerted yesterday by a driver to problems at Hillmorton Junction, south of Rugby.

Network Rail said hourly tests show the ground is moving underneath several tracks at Hillmorton.

West Coast Main Line South route infrastructure director Ellen Wintle said: The sheer amount of rain we’ve had recently has caused the ground to slip, so we’re working hard to stabilise the area and put our plan into action for the repairs. Because this landslip was spotted early we have controlled the damage which means repairs can be carried out whilst keeping services running on the other tracks and we can continue to provide a safe and reliable railway for passengers and freight customers.’

Reader Comments:

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  • Tim M, Gloucestershire

    As RAIB alluded to in a bulletin about the catastrophic earthwork failure which caused the Carmont derailment last summer, Network Rail has built up much asset knowledge in recent years. Whether or not Hillmorton was on some kind of a watchlist, sudden (and obviously unexpected) failure will still happen somewhere from time to time despite inspection regimes.

    Clearly the various investigations will examine NR's latest inspection/ assessment records, and determine whether NR could reasonably have foreseen a high risk of failure then done something to mitigate it.

  • Andrew Gwilt, Benfleet Essex

    Has it happened before. Or is it the first time it actually did happen.
    [This type of problem is regrettably becoming increasingly common on many parts of the railway.--Ed.]