Railway reopens after flood damage repaired

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Rail passengers are being thanked for their patience after a burst water main at Audenshaw in east Manchester caused disruption to trains for five days.

Thousands of gallons of water flooded the railway between Fairfield and Ashburys stations after a pipe operated by water company United Utilities ruptured in the early hours of Thursday 2 September.

Since then Network Rail teams have been working around the clock to repair flood damage to more than three miles of track.

This includes fixing washed away mortar inside Bessemer Street railway bridge, some areas of track where sinkholes had appeared, and also repairs to electric signalling equipment which became submerged.

Paul Owen, Network Rail’s North West route operations manager, said: “I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we worked tirelessly to get the railway back up and running after it was damaged by the burst water main at Audenshaw. We’ll continue to support United Utilities as they work to repair their pipe beside our tracks over the coming days.

“With over three miles of track submerged by fast flowing water it was essential we inspected everything thoroughly and made the necessary repairs before we could reopen the line so trains could run safely again. Thankfully that’s now complete but I’d remind people to check National Rail Enquiries as there may still be knock-on delays today while trains return to the usual timetable.”

A United Utilities spokesperson said: “Our teams have been working closely with Network Rail since the burst occurred on Thursday. We have made good progress and on Sunday night we finished setting up a safe access and working area around the burst site. That means our engineers are now able to continue and complete the repair work without any impact on rail services.”

Passengers are still advised to check National Rail Enquiries at www.nationalrail.co.uk before they travel while services return to the normal timetable.

Image credit: Network Rail

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