Concern Newcastle to Carlisle railway could be impacted by landslip

Kryten2340

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https://www.itv.com/news/tyne-tees/...arlisle-railway-could-be-impacted-by-landslip

There's concern train services between Newcastle and Carlisle could be under threat following a landslip on the banks of the River Tyne.

Erosion of the riverbank has already caused the closure of the popular cycling and walking route Keelman's Way between Clara Vale in Gateshead and Wylam in Northumberland.

Campaigners fighting for the route to be reopened say if urgent action isn't taken the railway line which lies just metres away could be impacted too.

Gateshead Council says it closed the section of Keelman's Way for public safety.

Gradual erosion of the riverbank was first noted in 2016 after winter storms led to changes in the flow of the River Tyne below Wylam Bridge. This erosion of the southern bank has gradually migrated westward and in 2019 the council began regular monitoring of the area most at risk of landslip to ensure the Keelman's Way remained safe for the public to use.
Gateshead Council
Gateshead Council says responsibility for fixing the path is with the landowner.

The land is owned by the buildings material company CEMEX.

We are in contact with key stakeholders including Liz Twist MP, Gateshead Council and Network Rail about the erosion at Keelmans Way. This is a complicated issue and any repairs to the riverbank will likely require significant planning and design. We will continue to engage with the relevant stakeholders to find the appropriate solution while keeping public safety paramount.
CEMEX
National Rail says it is monitoring the area and looking at options for work to protect the railway in the longterm.

The footpath is close to the railway and our teams are monitoring the area to make sure trains on the Tyne Valley line can continue running safely and reliably for passengers making essential journeys. We continue to work closely with the council and support their efforts as they look at options to repair the damage so the path can reopen.
Clare Brint, Network Rail
A petition set up by Keelman's Way Action Group is calling for repairs to the route to be carried out as soon as possible. The petition has more than two thousand signatures.
 
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30907

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The impact on the railway would be more serious, as if need be the path could be relocated south of the railway through the grounds of what was Castle Hill Hospital in my day (a bit hillier though IIRC!) - but NR are reasonably used to dealing with erosion if the landowner neglects their responsibility.
 
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There's around 6 months until the usual ECML blocks north of Newcastle which usually sees LNER divert via the Tyne Valley. Not sure if the diverted services are well loaded or if LNER intend to do the same again this year but could be interesting if both routes are blocked at the same time...

Would NR be able to do something in those 6 months if they thought they needed to?
 

zwk500

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There's around 6 months until the usual ECML blocks north of Newcastle which usually sees LNER divert via the Tyne Valley. Not sure if the diverted services are well loaded or if LNER intend to do the same again this year but could be interesting if both routes are blocked at the same time...

Would NR be able to do something in those 6 months if they thought they needed to?
Yes, if NR thought the embankment was at risk of slipping it could take emergency measures. However they would almost certainly be temporary and involves speed restrictions.
 

zwk500

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You'd think that Cemex have access to materials to assist with some form of remedial work.
They might not be particularly suitable to that stretch of riverbank - it would be somewhat silly to remedy a landslip with concrete blocks that increases the erosion from the river.
 

High Dyke

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They might not be particularly suitable to that stretch of riverbank - it would be somewhat silly to remedy a landslip with concrete blocks that increases the erosion from the river.
I wasn't necessarily suggesting concrete blocks, but there are engineering solutions that the landowner may be able to assist with.
 

Carlisle

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There's around 6 months until the usual ECML blocks north of Newcastle which usually sees LNER divert via the Tyne Valley. Not sure if the diverted services are well loaded
Most appeared fairly well patronised , pre pandemic anyway, alternatively Cross Country seem to have got by without needing that diversionary route for over a decade now, but I don’t know the details about what replacement services they provide.
 
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ainsworth74

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Most appeared fairly well patronised , pre pandemic anyway, alternatively Cross Country seem to have got by without needing that diversionary route for over a decade now, but I don’t know the details about what replacement services they provide.
It is quite time of day sensitive but LNER load fairly well on the diversionary services (pre-pandemic) and I have come across full and standing services as well on Sunday afternoons. XC lay on buses usually I believe.
 

Class 170101

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It is quite time of day sensitive but LNER load fairly well on the diversionary services (pre-pandemic) and I have come across full and standing services as well on Sunday afternoons. XC lay on buses usually I believe.
No surprises that LNER are busy on Sunday afternoon even accounting for the trip via Carlisle. Passengesr just don't want ther rail Replacement Bus as Passenger Focus have alluded to many times.
 

Anvil1984

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Most appeared fairly well patronised , pre pandemic anyway, alternatively Cross Country seem to have got by without needing that diversionary route for over a decade now, but I don’t know the details about what replacement services they provide.

XC tend to run to the point of obstruction nowadays (Morpeth or Berwick) unless the work is immediately north of Newcastle preventing that. You could probably only get a token XC service across the Tyne Valley due to the nature of the paths / slots and long absolute block sections. On Saturdays in the 2020 works the Southbound LNERs were timed to follow a Northern Hexham to Newcastle service which pushed its journey to nearly 90 mins opposed to the 75 - 80 I believe they had in previous years
 

since1814

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The impact on the railway would be more serious, as if need be the path could be relocated south of the railway through the grounds of what was Castle Hill Hospital in my day (a bit hillier though IIRC!) - but NR are reasonably used to dealing with erosion if the landowner neglects their responsibility.
Fairly certain the current owners of the former hospital would not be enthusiastic. There's an existing path which people use, south of the railway which doesn't go through those grounds but I don't believe it's a public footpath
 
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The first landslip occured in Oct 2019. Resulting in the public right of way being narrowed & fenced off from the River Tyne.
The further slip meant that it was closed & diverted to longer inland route which is undulating with fast traffic & mainly without footways. There is an unofficial route following the south side of the railway on Cemex land.

Riverside route is well used National Cycle Network 141, so the Petition below for reinstatement has over 2,000 signatures:

You can see on the picture in the article below how near the rail line is. Also how the bank drops steeply into the River:

Looks like expensive civil engineering works, hopefully Network Rail in partnership with Cemex and Gateshead Council.

Of course there are several unstable ground sections of the line between Blaydon & Hexham. At this location the path surface vibrates when a 156 passes!!
 

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