Rail line to remain closed for weeks after landslide

RAIL passengers face weeks of frustration after it emerged that tracks damaged by a landslide will not be re-opened until well into November.

James Hore

RAIL passengers face weeks of frustration after it emerged that tracks damaged by a landslide will not be re-opened until well into November.

Train services between Harwich and Manningtree were suspended after an embankment gave way in the area around Copperas Wood on Wednesday night.

Engineers from Network Rail spent yesterday assessing the damage but the company confirmed last night that the track was not safe to run trains on.


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The lines will now be closed until November 9 whilst work is carried out to rectify the problems, meaning passengers will have to use replacement buses provided by train operator National Express East Anglia.

Its spokeswoman confirmed the closure date and that the replacement services would be running between Harwich town station and Manningtree.

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Derek Monnery, chairman of the Essex Rail Users' Federation, said patience would be required from passengers.

He told the EADT: “Commuters won't be very happy about it, but it is one of those things.

“I am in the building industry myself and went down for a look and it appears that there is an area of unstable ground, unstable clay, under the track.

“It does not look very dramatic, but the tracks are no longer in line with the electric lines above.

“This could well carry on for a while.”

Network Rail workers had been in the area after problems were identified with one of the banks near the line several weeks ago.

Work began at the start of the month as part of a 20-week programme to ensure the problem was solved but a decision was taken at 6.25pm on Wednesday to suspend all services because of the landslide.

A spokeswoman for Network Rail said last night: “We are not in a position to confirm that date (November 9).

“Services will be suspended until Friday, we have guys on site investigating what has happened.

“There will be no services on Friday at the very least by which time we will be in a position to give a much clearer picture of what will happen and when.

“It has left us at the point where we don't have a safe track to run any trains on which is critical to everything we do.

“One of the two lines has given way.”

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

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