Landslip at Sodbury Tunnel causes severe rail disruption

First published in News Gazette Series: Photograph of the Author by , reporter covering Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell, Rangeworthy, Wickwar, Hawkesbury, Iron Acton, Coalpit Heath and Old Sodbury

THE railway line between London and Cardiff is facing severe disruption today following a landslip near Chipping Sodbury.

Several trees and spoil fell onto the Badminton Down line this morning at the Sodbury Tunnel.

A spokesman for Network Rail said normal services were unlikely to resume before tomorrow.

He said: "The landslip has deposited spoil and several small trees up to railhead height on the rail of the Down line. Works are underway on site to remove the debris.

"The slip site is approximately 25 yards in length, requiring approximately 25 tonnes of material to move.

"Staff fear that more debris is likely to fall and barriers will be required before the line can be re-opened."

He added: "The initial plan is to clear a much smaller area which will allow the Down Badminton line to re-open with a 5mph speed restriction.

"The removal of this debris will be done manually and is planned to be completed by 2pm. Speed restriction boards have been arranged. Trains from Bristol Parkway to Swindon can run at caution past the site of the slip."

In order to raise the speed restriction, overnight work will be required to position barriers and this will require the closure of both the Up and Down Badminton line tonight.

The landslip means services between London Paddington and Cardiff have been reduced. Trains are being diverted via the Box tunnel near Bath.

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