The West Coast main line fully reopened at Leighton Buzzard at 0400 hours today (5 February) after engineers successfully repaired a bank slip in six days.
Network Rail’s orange army has worked round-the-clock since last weekend, carrying out extensive repairs to the embankment after it slipped on Saturday 30 January. Trains can now run on all four tracks through the Leighton Buzzard area and the embankment has not just been repaired but also future-proofed to minimise the chances of further slips.
Because of its location, a temporary access road had to be built across nearby fields before 2,200 tonnes of stone and materials could be delivered to fix the slip. Engineers continued to work through last night so the railway could reopen for the first train this morning.
Mark Killick, area director for Network Rail, said: “Passengers can once again rely on a full timetable through Leighton Buzzard after the bank slip was successfully repaired. I am really proud of the way the team has performed over the past week and our focus from the very start has been to get a full service back up and running for passengers as quickly as possible.
“This has been a hugely challenging task made even more difficult by its location. I would like to thank passengers for their patience while the repairs have taken place”
London Midland’s head of West Coast Services, Alan Giles, said: “Keeping our passengers informed has been our priority throughout the disruption. People have understood that the landslip could not have been anticipated and everyone has worked hard to minimise the impact on our passengers.”
For the latest travel information check www.nationalrail.co.uk.
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Since 2007, London Midland has been providing train services to and from London in the south, to Birmingham in the Midlands and Liverpool in the north-west. Over 65 million passenger journeys a year are made using on the network and London Midland manage 150 stations and operate 1,300 services a day.
London Midland is owned by Govia, the partnership between the Go-Ahead Group and Keolis. Govia
is the UK’s busiest rail operator, responsible for nearly 30 per cent of UK passenger rail journeys through its three rail companies, GTR (which includes Gatwick Express services), Southeastern and London Midland. Further information on Govia is available at www.govia.info
London Midland has won a range of awards, including Best Local Transport Integration, four Rail Business Awards for marketing, public relations and customer information, five Golden Spanner Awards for Engineering, three IOIC awards for internal communication and three Railstaff Awards for Outstanding Customer Service, Lifesaving and Charity Work.
In 2013 London Midland was awarded the Investors in People (IiP) Silver Award and been awarded the 5 Star award by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) in 2012.