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February 20, 2017

Network Rail to reopen Settle to Carlisle railway ahead of schedule

Engineers from UK Network Rail have made considerable progress to reopen the major Settle to Carlisle service next month, earlier than planned.

By Lopamudra Roy

Engineers from UK Network Rail have made considerable progress to reopen the major Settle to Carlisle service next month, earlier than planned.

The rail line was closed after approximately 500,000t of land slip in February 2016, caused by flooding in Cumbria throughout the winter months.

As a result, the ground below the railway slipped 2.5m below its normal level during the weeks after the flooding.

As part of the Settle to Carlisle railway redevelopment project, Network Rail engineers have carried out a £23m project that covered driving two rows of high-strength piles, steel tubes filled with concrete, into the sloping bedrock of the Eden gorge, north of Armathwaite.

While several high-strength piles have already been installed, workers have started laying the concrete slab that would create a stable platform for the track to sit on, providing additional strength for the railway.

"This complex repair job has taken months to plan we are now focused on reopening the line to Carlisle, which is on schedule for 31 March."

With an aim to make 42 deliveries between early February and early March this year, 3,000t of concrete is being supplied to the railway project site in order to fill the steel tubes.

Network Rail project manager Rhiannon Price said: “The project continues to progress well, with more of the important work completed.

“This complex repair job has taken months to plan we are now focused on reopening the line to Carlisle, which is on schedule for 31 March.”

After the line is reopened, Network Rail intends to work on improving the earthworks to the foot of the embankment below the line and above the River Eden.


Image: Network Rail to reopen Settle to Carlisle rail line ahead of schedule. Photo: courtesy of Network Rail.

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