Disruption on Lewes railway line to continue for six to eight weeks

Engineers working on the landslip at Ripe SUS-160323-131751001
Engineers working on the landslip at Ripe SUS-160323-131751001

Repairing a landslip on the railway between Lewes and Eastbourne is likely to take between six and eight weeks, engineers say.

Network Rail engineers have been working the bank slip on the Eastbourne to Lewes line since it occurred just under two weeks ago and now plans have been put in place for a full repair to 250 metres of railway.

Lewes-bound trains have been limited to 5mph across the site of the slip, near the village of Ripe, between Glynde and Berwick stations, and an amended timetable has been put in place to minimise disruption.

Network Rail’s geotechnical manager for the South East, Derek Butcher, said: “We appreciate everyone’s patience while this work takes place and we will have the line back and working at full speed as soon as we can. By reducing the number of trains over the affected area, we also reduce the risk of the slip getting worse.

“The site of the damage is quite isolated so we have spent this week building a road across the fields for our heavy equipment. We have already started putting steel sheets into the ground along 100m of the railway and we will then use that wall of steel to support new embankment material and a further 150m of line will also need work.

“This stretch of railway dates from 1846 and we are repairing the damaged section to modern standards.”

Southern’s Ashford International to Brighton services have been terminating at Eastbourne to reduce the number of trains over the landslip, and this will continue until repairs are completed.

Mr Butcher added: “We will be able to raise the speed limit across the site gradually over the coming weeks and we will put a full service back in place as soon as it is safe to do so.”

For information on service changes please see www.southernrailway.com or www.nationarail.co.uk.

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