Work is currently under way to completely rebuild 80m of railway at the largest of three landslips in Botley in Hampshire, UK, with the line expected to open in mid-March.

A team of 100 engineers is currently working at the site round the clock to restore the vital line that links Fareham with Eastleigh.

Network Rail estimates that more than 2km of new road is to be built to access the sites and over 1,000 lorry movements will be needed to transport the 20,000 tons of new material needed to rebuild the Botley line that was originally constructed in the 1840s.

UK Rail Minister Stephen Hammond said: "The work Network Rail has been carrying out to reopen the line around Botley by mid-March has been impressive.

"They undertook a massive engineering task just to prepare the site before they could start dealing with three separate landslips along one mile of track."

"There is still a lot to be done before we can resume our services."

Network Rail said that the largest slip site near Botley saw an 80m long and 15m high length of embankment fail.

Until the reopening of the Botley line, Portsmouth to London Waterloo trains will be diverted, with buses serving stations from Fareham to Eastleigh.

The South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance commercial director Sam McCarthy said: "We will continue to operate a bus replacement service until the line reopens.

"There is still a lot to be done before we can resume our services, but with work progressing well and on schedule, we expect to be able to reopen the line by mid March."

Image: Work underway at the Botley landslip site. Photo: courtesy of Network Rail.