Emergency work on the railroad after the landslide closed the East Grinstead line

Passengers from Thameslink and Southern on the East Grinstead line are asked to check before traveling after a landslide closed the line on Thursday (February 13).

Reported for the first time in December but aggravated by recent weather conditions, the landslide forced the closure of the railroad between East Grinstead and Hurst Green.

This in turn is causing reduced service for some trains between Lingfield and London Victoria and Oxted and London Bridge on Friday.

Network Rail told customers on its website: “Following a landslide north of East Grinstead station on December 28, a speed limit of 20 miles per hour was put in place to allow trains to continue running. circulate safely.

“However, Storm Ciara and further overnight rains caused more damage to the embankment.”

Thursday, there were replacement rail bus services between Hurst Green and East Grinstead.

As of Friday, Network Rail has said it would be able to run a two-hourly train service between Lingfield and London Victoria all day.

During the peaks, it will operate up to three 12-car Thameslink trains between Oxted and London Bridge.

For further updates, train users are advised to visit www.southernrailway.com and www.thameslinkrailway.com

“We cannot give a precise timetable for when the railway can reopen”

Shaun King, route director for the southern region, apologized for the interruption: “I know this type of interruption is really frustrating for you, our passengers, but it is a decision that we have had to make for your safety.

“The railroad must be closed for a longer period to permanently repair this landslide, however we cannot provide an exact timetable for when the railroad can reopen at this stage.

“But we are working hard to design a permanent solution and will update passengers as soon as possible once we know exactly how long it might take.

“We are doing everything we can to get you moving again.”

Angie Doll, Managing Director of Govia Thameslink Railway for Southern and Gatwick Express, said: “We continue to work closely with Network Rail to keep passengers up to date and advise passengers to check the latest information on our website at www .southernrailway.com before traveling. .

“We also encourage anyone whose trip has been delayed for at least 15 minutes due to this incident to request a refund of the delayed refund via the website.”

“The landslide was detected by sensors in the ground that warn us”

John Halsall, MD of Network Rail Kent and Sussex, held a Twitter post to explain the situation and what is being done.

“We had a landslide near East Grinstead station, so running on trains is not safe.

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“We already had a smaller landslide on the same site on December 28 last year, however we were able to drive trains safely by introducing a speed limit of 20 miles per hour. Since then we have been closely monitoring the embankment and we design options for a long-term solution.

“However, the recent bad weather due to the Ciara storm and heavy rains yesterday night beat us, because the ground started to move again and the embankment got worse.

“I know this will be really frustrating for you, our passengers, but it’s a decision that we had to make for your safety. The landslide was detected by sensors in the ground that warn us, so we can quickly close the rail and keep you safe.

“As soon as we found out, we sent geotechnical experts to assess the damage and see if it was possible to operate the trains using only one track, before a scheduled closure to repair the embankment. However, we decided not to do it because it wasn’t the best thing for passengers.

“Instead the trains still travel to Oxted and Hurst Green, but the buses replace the trains between Hurst Green and East Grinstead.

“From tomorrow, however, we will be able to run a two-hour train service between Lingfield and London Victoria, all day long.

Edenbridge where this solution has worked before
Edenbridge where this solution has worked before

“During the summits, we will be able to run up to 3 12-car Thameslink trains between Oxted and London Bridge. These travel arrangements are subject to change, so please continue checking with Southern Rail and Thameslink before leaving.

“The railway must close for a longer period to permanently repair it. This means that we can access and make repairs correctly, rather than make a temporary repair and risk further deterioration of the embankment which could force a longer closure.

“I’d like to be able to tell you when the railroad will be open again so that we can plan ahead, however it’s simply not possible at this stage. First, we need to properly assess the damage to see what kind of correction is required.

“So we have to adjust our plan because this last note implies that our response must change, including the way we mobilize contractors, resources, plants and machinery. Once we have that plan, we can give you a more definitive timetable.

“But it looks like it might take a while. This is because it is a complicated repair. Due to the remote location of the landslide, we have to build an 800m transport road just to bring materials and machinery to the site.

“To avoid further destabilizing the embankment, we will not use the typical sheet metal sheet wall: this is where the steel beams are vibrated in the ground. Instead we hope to build a 2,000-ton base on the bottom of the embankment, dug into the ground to 2.5 m deep.

“We will then build a series of benches, just like this solution in Edenbridge, ready to add further stone later to rebuild the embankment and prevent further slipping. The bench-like formation allows materials to be “inserted” into the slope, just as Lego blocks connect.

“As soon as we have more information, we will update you on the timing. Again, I’m really sorry, but I want to reassure everyone that we are doing everything we can to get things right. “

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