Delays on London Euston-Birmingham rail route after landslip repair work

A landslip next to rail tracks near Rugby
A landslip next to rail tracks near Rugby

Tens of thousands of train passengers suffered severe disruption following a landslip on one of the UK’s busiest rail routes.

The incident, which happened between Coventry and Rugby on Sunday, blocked a section of the West Coast Main Line between London Euston and Birmingham New Street, Network Rail said.

Network Rail closed the line in both directions on Monday night to carry out repair work.

The line was reopened on Tuesday afternoon, but delays persisted on both Avanti West Coast and London Northwestern Railway (LNR) services.

LNR said: “Minor delays may still occur whilst we resume normal service.”

Meanwhile Avanti West Coast said: “A speed restriction through the affected area is in place in both directions, and an amended timetable will be operating to & from the Midlands until the end of the day.

“This may result in extended journey times & alterations to your journey if you're travelling on this route.”

Following Sunday’s landslip, some passengers faced several hours added to journey times, with long diversions and rail replacement buses between Coventry and Northampton.

Network Rail said soil had moved from an embankment on to the track near the village of Church Lawford after “persistent heavy rainfall weakened the earth beneath it”.

James Dean, route director for Network Rail, said: ”I’m sorry to passengers who’ve been affected by the closure of the West Coast Main Line while we completed emergency repairs to the landslip between Coventry and Rugby.

“I’m pleased to advise that we’ve reopened both tracks this afternoon – with a reduced speed limit – which means passenger and freight trains can run again.

“I want to thank passengers for their patience and ask those travelling to check for the latest journey information.”

Last month the Chiltern Main Line between London Marylebone and both Birmingham Moor Street and Oxford was closed due to a landslip near Bicester, Oxfordshire, causing major disruption.