Engineers from Network Rail and its contractors worked round-the-clock at the weekend so commuters would be inconvenienced as little as possible this morning by a landslip that had blocked the main Manchester to Sheffield line.
Shortly before midnight on Saturday, Network Rail was contacted by Derbyshire police to say that a landslip from the railway had partially blocked the B6062 at Buxworth, near Chinley.
Staff sent to investigate discovered part of the embankment had slipped and was blocking one lane of the road. The slip was next to the Manchester bound railway line but as a safety precaution, both railway lines were closed.
Network Rail called out its contractors who brought tower lighting and excavators to the site.
Closer inspection revealed it was sandy soil that had been washed away, rather than the embankment itself, and that the railway track appeared to be unaffected.
This meant that first thing Sunday, the Sheffield bound line could be reopened with a 5mph speed restriction to allow the train companies to operate an amended timetable using the one line.
During the course of Sunday, approximately 400 tonnes of stone were brought to site and put into position using a long-reach excavator.
Work to rebuild the embankment was finished by 11 pm yesterday (Sunday 6th Feb) and an inspection of the track took place in the early hours of the morning, resulting in both lines being reopened with a 20 mph speed restriction.
Commenting on the efforts, Network Rail route director Jo Kaye said: “This is a perfect example of teamwork within the rail industry. We had the contacts and contracts in place to be able to mobilise people at short notice. We liaised with the passenger and freight train operators so they could offer customers a service on the Sunday, and we got the work completed to get both lines open in time for the Monday morning rush hour. I congratulate everyone involved on a job well done.”