At 1145hrs on the 6th March, heavy rain triggered a landslide blocking the railway between Milner Royd Junction and Bradford Interchange near Halifax. Train services on the Down line were stopped immediately and a 20 mph restriction imposed on the Up line causing significant disruption to train operations.
The landslip occurred in an 18m deep railway cutting, with the railway at the toe of the cutting, and a 3m high retaining wall perched at the crest. The slope failure deposited slip material directly onto the railway, blocking the line, and the loss of material from the crest of the cutting was potentially threatening the stability of the retaining wall at the crest.
With the railway closed to traffic, CML mobilised an earthworks team to site to undertake emergency works to clear debris from the railway. Earthmoving machines scaled the cutting slope from track level to remove 100 tonnes of debris, as geotechnical engineers began to determine the cause of the failure and assess the stability of the remaining cutting slope. With the slip material removed and the railway, we were able to re-open the railway later the following day.
The emergency work was however only a temporary repair to restore train services. The team are now monitoring the structure whilst designing a permanent repair, which is likely to consist of installing 120 soil nails and 900m2 of steel erosion control mesh.
Managing Director Charles Mortimer praised the team’s swift actions. “They re-arranged shift patterns, mobilised plant and equipment, organised access liaising with the local Council, and restored train services in little more than a 24hr period. An excellent reactive response.”
Our site team now have some hard work in the weeks ahead to implement the permanent repair to a difficult little site.