Engineers 'confident' passenger services between Kettering and Market Harborough back on track by Thursday
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Work to stabilise part of the embankment near Braybrooke is ‘progressing well’ with Network Rail engineers ‘confident’ passenger services will be able to use the line on Thursday (November 9)
Closed since Thursday (November 2), trains using the route were replaced by buses to allow the installation of soil nails and netting which will be tensioned to strengthen the affected area.
Testing today (Tuesday) has revealed that the grout used to hold the nails in place is ‘curing’ well, meaning maintenance teams can step-up their work to fully reinstate the track.
Gary Walsh, route director for Network Rail’s East Midlands route, said: “Engineers have made great progress at Braybrooke and we are confident that trains will be able to run along their usual route from start of service on Thursday.
“I am sorry for the disruption which passengers have experienced in recent days. This site is a complex one and we needed to be sure that the grout and other materials being used to stabilise the embankment were performing as expected before we could give clear information about when trains will start running again.
“Teams will remain on site and we will have monitoring in place for some time yet but, from Thursday, it will be safe for trains to run along their usual route.
“I am grateful for the understanding shown by passengers while we worked through this challenge. Please continue to check your journey before travelling to get the latest information.”
Tonight a tamping machine will run over the track to consolidate the ballast. This will be carefully monitored to guide engineers throughout Wednesday before normal services resume.
Dave Meredith, customer services director at East Midlands Railway, said: “We would like to thank our customers for their patience whilst this issue is resolved by Network Rail.
“Unfortunately, due to the ongoing repairs, we are required to continue our emergency timetable until Thursday morning. This means diverting our intercity services to and from London. These diversions increase journey times by up to 60 minutes and services will not call at Market Harborough. Services may also depart earlier and arrive at their destinations later than usual.
“All our Connect trains will start/terminate at Wellingborough instead of Kettering and Corby. Our Intercity services will continue to call additionally at Kettering and Corby. Rail replacement buses will operate between Kettering, Market Harborough, and Leicester.
“We have worked closely with our partners at other train operators, and they have agreed our customers can use their EMR ticket on other operators' services to help keep them on the move.
“Customers are advised to please check our website for the latest information before they travel and allow extra time for their journey.”
The repair involves maintenance crews working round the clock using:
280 soil nails (some of which are 9m long)
17, 100 litres of grout (around 250m3)
800 tonnes of stone
750m2 of netting