Mysterious flooding for residents living by a freight line and reservoir in Greater Manchester has been solved by railway engineers.

Houses on Stamford Road in Audenshaw, which back onto the railway and the town’s reservoir, have had their gardens flooded since 2017.

Supported by their local MP, Andrew Gwynne, the homeowners set about trying to find out what was causing the problem.

Working with Tameside Council and United Utilities, Network Rail drainage specialists used CCTV to rule out reservoir pipes from being the source of the leak.

Instead, planned drainage upgrades to the railway were brought forward in a bid to solve the flooding.

The work saw 200 tonnes of stone and 180 metres of new drainage channels built between the railway embankment and residents’ homes.

Rick Hellings, drainage engineer for Network Rail said: “I’d like to thank the residents of Stamford road and local MP Andrew Gwynne for their patience throughout the planning and delivery of these £100,000 drainage improvements.

“With work now complete and their gardens hopefully a lot drier, I hope it gives them the peace of mind to enjoy their outdoor space, which is especially important now as people stay at home during the coronavirus to protect the NHS.”

A spokesperson on behalf of the residents of Stamford road and Balmoral Avenue in Audenshaw said: “We are indebted to residents Sue Heath and Frank Callaghan, as well as Andrew Gwynne MP and Network Rail, for ensuring that the work to end the flooding problem in gardens adjoining the railway has been driven forward and completed. Hopefully we can now enjoy the benefits of our gardens.”

Andrew Gywnne, MP for Denton and Reddish, said: “I am delighted that flooding for residents on Stamford Road has now been resolved. 

“This has been a difficult time for residents and I’d like to commend them for their part in assisting Network Rail, Tameside Council and United Utilities in getting this sorted.  

“I am particularly pleased that residents will now be able to enjoy their gardens as coronavirus keeps us all at home.” 

The drainage improvements were completed on April 17. The work started later than planned as it needed to be booked in two years in advance as part of a package of engineering upgrades designed to limit the disruption to passenger and freight services.

During the work in February, Network Rail’s contractors were also diverted away to make emergency railway repairs to damage done by storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge.

Stamford Road lies next to a freight line that spurs off the Huddersfield to Stalybridge line. ​