Thursday, 31 December 2015

Serious Rail Track Damage Between Dover and Folkestone

Network Rail and Southeastern bosses meet to discuss railway line damage between Dover Priory and Folkestone CentralDamage to rail track could take millions of pounds to repair. Images just released reveal the true extent of damage to the sea wall near the railway line between Dover and Folkestone.

The pictures reveal several major cracks in the wall. One major fault runs vertically down the wall, while others appear to have opened up within the structure.

Meanwhile, potholes have appeared trackside after damage from a high tide.
But, as Network Rail and Southeastern bosses were meeting to discuss the major work required on the railway line the damage was worsening.

Managing director of Southeastern, David Statham, said at the site: “At the moment, the first thing to say is that we don’t have an estimation of how long it is going to take to repair the sea wall here at Dover.
“They’re currently working through what they have got to do to stabilise the site, what they need to do to repair it, so we don’t know how long it is going to take to get the railway back to normal.
“What I can tell you at the moment is that we’re unable to run trains between Dover and Folkestone directly.
"At present we’re running a rail replacement bus service, a shuttle service and from Dover we’re able to run a conventional mainline service into London Victoria. 
“We are making every effort to keep people moving while Network Rail complete the repairs.”

Southeastern is rearranging its timetables to accommodate commuters. The new timetable should come into play on Monday.
From then, Southeastern is also offering free parking at Folkestone West to encourage those travelling from Dover and Deal to drive there where they will then pick up the high speed train.

Route managing director of Network Rail Alasdair Coates said the original damage was spotted by track walkers.
He added: “Once every seven days we do a maintenance track walk. The track walkers noticed a crack just before Christmas and that identified the issue.
"Since that time, when we decided to close the railway on Christmas Eve, there has been further deterioration so it was absolutely the right decision to do so. 
“I myself have been down here regularly since then and each time I come down I have seen further and further erosion which is why it is so important that we get the track and temporary repairs in order as quick as we can to prevent further erosion.

Further information:

South Eastern Railway: Line closed between Folkestone Central and Dover Priory

Kent Online: Network Rail and Southeastern bosses meet to discuss railway line damage