A £9MILLION project to protect a rail line near Harbury from landslides is set to get underway in December.
The year-long Network Rail work aims to stabilise half a mile of railway along the busy route between Leamington and Banbury. In 2015 heavy rain triggered a landslide which sent 300,000 tonnes earth onto the track at the mouth of Harbury Tunnel. The line was closed for eight weeks during emergency repairs.
The cutting, at the rear of the Churchlands Business Park, will be made less steep and pinned using large nails and piles to make it more stable. A new retaining wall will also be built at the bottom of the slope to help prevent soil movement.
Rail bosses say there will be no disruption during work to Chiltern Railways and CrossCountry passengers travelling on the main line linking the West Midlands and London, with train services running as normal.
The large-scale project will be delivered in two phases. The first will involve building a temporary access road for users of the Harbury Business Park. The second will see the use of the existing road to carry out the earthwork repairs. The original access road will then be returned to the business park once the work is completed.
Luke Swain, senior asset engineer at Network Rail, said: “This investment and strengthening scheme by Harbury Tunnel will help keep the Chiltern main line through the area safe and reliable for passengers and freight for decades to come.
“We want to be a good neighbour and are keen to discuss with local people what the work is, why it is essential and how we will deliver it.”
* A public information event about the project takes place on Wednesday November 27 at Harbury Library between 4pm and 6.30pm. Network Rail will be on hand to answer questions and provide more information.
A £9million project will aim to protect the rail line near Harbury Tunnel from future landslips.