Emergency repair work to repair landslip at Hillmorton section of the West Coast main line causes some delays

The landslip is believed to have been caused by Storm Christoph

Photo courtesy of Network Rail.

Emergency work to repair a landslip on the West Coast main line between Milton Keynes and Birmingham is taking place after a train driver spotted something unusual.

Immediate action to get the landslip under control was taken at the Hillmorton Junction to south of Rugby when the train driver raised the alarm yesterday, January 27.

But hourly tests show the ground is still moving underneath several tracks on the West Coast main line.

All services are still running but are being diverted via Northampton, adding around 30 minutes onto journey times.

Passengers making essential journeys are being advised to check www.nationalrail.co.uk or with train operators Avanti West Coast and London Northwestern Railway.

Ellen Wintle, infrastructure director for Network Rail’s West Coast South route, said: “The sheer amount of rain we’ve had recently has caused the ground to slip, so we’re working hard to stabilise the area and put our plan into action for the repairs.

"Because this landslip was spotted early we have controlled the damage which means repairs can be carried out whilst keeping services running on the other tracks and we can continue to provide a safe and reliable railway for passengers and freight customers.

“I thank passengers making essential journeys during this period of national lockdown for their patience. I’d urge them to check National Rail Enquiries before setting off on their journey while we make sure passengers get the service they deserve on this absolutely vital part of railway between Milton Keynes and Birmingham.”

While the work to shore up the moving land is ongoing, trains still passing through the affected area are doing so at slower speeds.

The landslip has come after exceptional rainfall brought by Storm Christoph.