Tuesday briefing: Old mine workings complicated landslip repairs

Landslip repaired
Network Rail says old mine workings were found during engineering work to repair a landslip between Knottingley and Pontefract Monkhill. The line has now reopened, following seven weeks of round-the-clock work to rebuild the embankment after it slipped in early March. More than 2,000 tonnes of stone were installed along with a new 30-metre retaining wall, and 60 metres of track was also removed and replaced. Wet weather was thought to have been the cause of the slip, but minor voids were discovered beneath the railway embankment that are thought to be connected with old mines. Network Rail said this meant that the work took longer and was more complex.

New contract in Wales
The Global Centre of Rail Excellence in South Wales has welcomed CAF as the latest international railway manufacturer to sign up to using its testing and innovation services. The deal will see GCRE assist CAF with testing of rolling stock and digital signalling. CAF was recently announced as the supplier of ten tri-mode trains for LNER, and the partnership will also allow CAF to use GCRE for fleet maintenance as well as staff training and development. 

Bargain bookings
Avanti West Coast has extended its ‘Superfare’ tickets to more destinations, after the discounts were introduced a year ago. Avanti said that since then more than 50,000 of the tickets have been sold. They allow passengers to choose morning, afternoon or evening travel on a named date, although the precise train is allocated by the operator about 24 hours before departure. Stations in the scheme now include Rugby, Coventry, Nuneaton, Birmingham International and Wolverhampton, from where passengers can travel to London for a single fare of £9. Milton Keynes Central, Oxenholme Lake District, Penrith and Carlisle have also been added to the offer.

Transpennine tunnels upgrade
Engineering consultants COWI have been awarded a design contract by Network Rail for the Transpennine Route Upgrade between Stalybridge and Huddersfield. Three tunnels are being upgraded in this section – Stalybridge, Scout and Standedge. The work will include enlarging the clearance in each tunnel for W12 gauge and electrification by lowering and relaying the track.

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