Eastbourne commuters face eight more weeks of delay

Rail delays to and from Eastbourne caused by a landslip are expected to continue for up to eight more weeks, engineers have said.

Wednesday, 23rd March 2016, 1:57 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd March 2016, 2:07 pm
Engineers working on the landslip at Ripe SUS-160323-131751001

Network Rail engineers say it will take between six and eight more weeks to repair a 250 metre section of track near Ripe.

The damage, caused by a landslip two weeks ago, means trains travelling between Eastbourne and Lewes have had to slow down to a speed of fewer than five miles per hour before crossing.

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.”

The speed limit on the track is expected to slowly increase as repairs continue.

Trains from Ashford International to Brighton have been terminating at Eastbourne to reduce traffic over the landslip.

This will continue until repairs are completed.

Passengers are advised to check if they will be affected by the delays before travelling.

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