Eastleigh to Fareham link reopens after country's biggest railway landslip

Daily Echo: Rail link reopens after £3 million landslip Rail link reopens after £3 million landslip

IT HAS caused six weeks of misery for frustrated commuters as rail operators tackled one of the worst landslips ever seen in this country.

But trains will finally be getting back on track this morning after round the clock efforts, costing an estimated £3m, paid off.

Commuters had faced frustration after the line between Eastleigh and Fareham was cut off by the landslip at Botley, which affected in total one mile of track.

Trains have been replaced by a bus service since the slip on February 1.

However, passengers should be back on the line by 8am today, after Network Rail hands the track back at 5am.

The main 88 metre bankslip was one of three to happen on the track near Botley following five months of rain in December and January.

The track had stood for the last 150 years but nearly a month ago it was left hanging after the ground supporting it simply fell away. Rain-softened clay was pushed down causing the bank to fold and the land dropped by six metres.

Network Rail took a week just to build a road access to the site, which was in the middle of farmland.

Labelled by Network Rail project manager Steve Kilby as the largest embankment collapse in living memory, it prompted a visit from rail minister Stephen Hammond last month.

A team of more than 100 engineers from the Network Rail- South West Trains Alliance and contractor Osborne have been working round the clock.

Tim Shoveller, managing director for the South West Trains- Network Rail Alliance, said: “We know that some passengers will have experienced changes to their journeys with us and we can only apologise for that.

Despite some very challenging conditions, our engineers have done a great job of re-building the railway around Botley in just a few weeks, which is testament to their hard work and commitment.”

Workers put in 600 14- metre sheet metal piles, which weighed over one tonne each.

They moved 14,000 tonnes of waste material off the site, the equivalent of 700 lorry loads, and needed to bring in 20,000 tonnes of new material to restore the line – the equivalent of

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