A massive recovery effort is underway across large parts of the railway in Wales following huge amount of heavy and continuous rainfall brought on by Storm Christoph.

As well as large areas of flooding across the country, Network Rail responders are working day and night to clear away debris from a landslip at Lydney, on the line between Chepstow and Gloucestershire.

Network Rail engineers are at the scene in Lydney and have begun to clear debris from the track and remove any unstable earth from the embankment.  

Due to the hard-to-reach location of the landslip, rope-teams are working their way down the embankment to remove loose debris and earth with the use of hand tools.

The clean-up at Lydney is expected to take a week and Transport for Wales is providing a rail replacement service from Newport to Gloucestershire.

Lydney flood damage Jan2021

Other areas of the Wales & Borders network have had to close due to damage left after flooding, particularly in the North and North west.

Network Rail teams are currently assessing significant damage at Knighton, on the Heart of Wales Line, and multiple areas of storm damage between Dovey Junction and Pwllheli, on the Cambrian Coast Line.

Further investigations will be taking place across the weekend to determine when the lines can reopen.

Meanwhile, there have been several washouts of the track on the Conwy Valley Line, between Llandudno Junction and Blaenau Ffestiniog, which will now require remedial works.

Bill Kelly, Network Rail’s Wales route director, said: 

“The prolonged and heavy rain over the last few days has led to multiple delays and line closures across the Wales & Borders Network and we are very sorry for the disruption this will have caused to passengers using the railway for their essential journeys.

“We’re committed to continuing to make the railway more resilient to extreme weather. In the last year, alone, we have invested a huge amount to improve resilience on several lines, with this work helping to reduce the impact from storm Christoph.”

“We understand the importance of the railway during these challenging times and can ensure you that our engineers are working day and night to get passengers moving again and we will provide an update as soon as possible.”

Alexia Course, Director of Rail Operations at Transport for Wales, said:

“We would like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding this week, as we have dealt with the effects of storm Christoph and the disruption it caused across the network.

“Working alongside Network Rail, our teams have managed to restore a large number of the affected services, but some repair work will continue into next week and this will result in some cancellations and short-notice changes.

“We would ask anyone needing to travel for essential journeys to check beforehand and visit journeycheck.com/tfwrail for the latest information.”