Posted 15th March 2024 | No Comments

Trains set to return to part of landslip line

Trains are set to start running again on part of the line between Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury, which has been blocked since 8 March by a landslip near Oakengates.

Network Rail said more than 5,000 tonnes of material had slipped beneath a 50-metre section of the railway after persistent heavy rain over the winter months weakened the earthwork.

It added that engineers have been ‘working around the clock’ since last week to clear the site to allow access for the materials and equipment needed to repair the embankment.

Althougn no passenger trains have run on the route over the past week, West Midlands Railway is hoping to restore a limited service from Wolverhampton on Monday, which would serve the stations east of the landslip. This would run every two hours from Wolverhampton as far as Shifnal, calling at Bilbrook, Codsall, Albrighton and Cosford.

WMR pointed out that the complexity of designing timetables and the fact that the relevant traincrew depot is in Shrewsbury while the rolling stock depot is in Birmingham makes an emergency service difficult to arrange, but that it is ’working hard’ to serve the eastern part of the line soon.

Avanti West Coast trains from London to Shrewsbury will continue to terminate at Wolverhampton for the time being, although in any case these services are being withdrawn from the start of the summer timetable in June. Transport for Wales trains will not be able to serve stations east of Shrewsbury until the line is fully reopen again, and rail replacement buses are running.

Network Rail infrastructure director Adam Checkley apologised to passengers and described the scale of repairs as ‘challenging’, involving over 12,000 tonnes of material.

He continued: ‘We’re currently aiming to fully reopen the line by Easter.’