Customers back on track at Botley

Following the wettest winter on record for nearly 250 years, the rail line at Botley, where Osborne have been working to rectify a series of landslips, re-opened on Saturday 15 March.

The main landslip occurred at the beginning of February, where over 80 metres of the embankment had collapsed, resulting in the track being lowered by up to two metres in some places. A team of up to 100 engineers from Osborne and Network Rail were working 24 hours a day to get the line back up and running.

In total, 50,000 man hours have been worked at the site over a six week period. Extensive works took place to remove the track, cables and failed embankment material, before installing 1100 sheet piles so that the bank could be rebuilt. In the meantime, customers were using a replacement bus service to link them to services towards London.

Using over 40,000 tonnes of new material, the bank was re-constructed and handed back to Network Rail a day ahead of schedule, ready for the track to be re-laid. Whilst our main slip works are complete, we are continuing to work on additional repairs including embankment stabilisation and two kilometres of drainage works further down the line.

On Friday 14 March, the works were visited by Richard Price, Chief Executive of the ORR, and his colleagues, as well as several Directors from the Wessex Alliance Board, who were all keen to see the scale of the works completed. The BBC and ITV television crews also broadcast further updates on what has been described as the largest landslip ever recorded.

The line is now running safely and customers are back on the move.