Preventative work to help against future landslips is about to start on the entrance to Wadhurst Tunnel.
The site, near Tunbridge Wells, will have improvements made that will last 60 years after recent years saw a high level of landslips.
Incidents at the side near Wadhurst have occurred in 2014, 2016, 2019 and 2020 and led to lots of disruption for passengers.
Fiona Taylor, Network Rail Kent route director, said: “We know passengers on the Hastings line have endured disruption over the years as a result of the way the railway was constructed many years ago, with changing weather patterns adding to the problems. For that reason, we’ve developed a programme of work to improve the most vulnerable sites on the route. We’re starting on one end of Wadhurst tunnel now and will move on to other locations later this year.”
Derek Butcher, Route Asset Manager at Network Rail, said: “This cutting was originally dug over a hundred and seventy years ago and is now in need of renewal to ensure that it is resilient for the future. The work uses soil nailing which is tried and tested as it allows for the slope to be strengthened and allows for some vegetation to grow while keeping the railway safe from landslips.”
Cameras, remote sensors and a catchfence have been in place to reduce the risk of landslips. However, special anchors will now be used to prevent landslips in the future and will be combined with netting across the top of the cutting to keep soil and vegetation in place.
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