Trains will resume running between Ewell West and Epsom on Monday 6 January, following a landslip which has closed the line for three weeks.
The landslip occurred on Saturday 14 December following heavy rainfall. Engineers assessed the damage and found the saturated embankment had failed, causing the ground beneath the track to drop, meaning it was not safe to run trains.
Since the line closure teams have worked to repair the damage by removing the affected track from the site before removing 2,000 tonnes of failed material from the embankment.
Teams worked around the clock to build a 40 metre long sheet pile wall, constructed of 71 sheet steel piles which are 13 metres long. The section of the embankment that failed was removed using excavators and is being rebuilt with 2,400 tonnes of fill material behind the sheet pile wall.
This weekend, Saturday 4 to Sunday 5 January, the track will be replaced and the electrical supply and signalling system will be reconnected. Detailed tests will take place on Sunday night to make sure it is safe for trains to run on the morning of Monday 6 January.
In order to open the line in time for most people’s return to work we have installed a temporary track layout with a set of points removed. Engineers will return to the site in the future to relay the track and install points.
Mark Killick, Network Rail Wessex route director, said:
“Repairing the damage from the landslip has been a complicated task and I want to say sorry to passengers, local residents and business owners for the inconvenience that these works have caused.
“I know our teams have put in a tremendous effort to get this work complete. Their dedication and commitment to these repairs has ensured that we will soon get passenger services running again.”
Christian Neill, SWR’s Interim Head of Stations, said:
“We’d like to thank passengers for their patience over the festive period. We know this hasn’t been an easy time for those travelling on our services and are sorry for the inconvenience these major engineering works have caused to their journeys.
“We would also like to thank Network Rail for their hard-work to ensure services fully resume between Epsom and Ewell West stations ahead of the introduction of our new timetable on Monday.”
The majority of planned trains will run from Monday 6 January, but during the evening peak there will be a small reduction in the number of trains due to the temporary track arrangement. Network Rail will work with SWR on a plan to fully repair the line over the coming weeks that will see a full service resume on the line.