Video: Train disruptions between Scunthorpe and Doncaster will remain until June
TRAIN services between Doncaster and Scunthorpe that were disrupted by a landslide won’t be back on track until June.
The disruptions were caused after a spoil heap collapsed onto the track near Stainforth in February and Network Rail said it would be “several weeks” before normal services resumed.
Now that the spoil heap has stopped moving the teams have conducted more detailed surveys of the damage and are planning the work which needs to be completed to restore rail services through the area.
As reported, the landslip, between Scunthorpe and Doncaster, has caused long delays for rail passengers throughout the area.
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Phil Verster, route managing director for Network Rail, said: "I want to thank passengers and our freight customers for their patience in this difficult time.
"In recent days it has become apparent that the damage to the railway is a lot worse than we originally thought and the repair work will be more complex.
"Clearly our priority is to get rail services running again as quickly as possible but we need to do so safely.
"The complexities of this job mean that it will take 16 to 18 weeks to complete, approximately until the end of June.
"However we will not be in a position to confirm this timeline until more extensive investigations have been completed in the next few days. We will do everything possible to reduce the time it will take to get the railway back.
“We are working closely with the train operators to minimise the disruption to passengers. We have also completed work which will better allow the flow of essential coal and steel freight trains to run from Scunthorpe and Immingham."
Richard Allan, area director at Northern Rail, said: “During the forthcoming weeks, keeping passengers informed and on the move is our priority.
"We’ve been working closely with our colleagues at Network Rail and First TransPennine Express to ensure they are aware of how this disruption can affect their journey.
"We will continue to keep passengers updated at our stations and on our trains as well as online via our website and Twitter feed.
"I’d like to thank everyone for their continued patience as this essential work is carried out and the line returned to us as soon as possible.”
First TransPennine Express have put in place an amended train and bus timetable - visit www.tpexpress.co.uk/travel-advice
It has also established a half-hourly bus service between Doncaster and Scunthorpe with additional buses to ensure everyone can make connections.
There is an express bus services in place between Doncaster and Cleethorpes to ensure customers can make onward connections to London and the south.
Additional management and support staff have been deployed to stations.
And ticket restrictions have been lifted meaning passengers can travel at any point on their booked day of travel.
Nick Donovan, FTPE managing director, said: “The damage caused by the spoil heap is extensive and Network Rail have advised us that the line will not be open for use until approximately the end of June.
"This is clearly not ideal for rail passengers and disruption to journeys is likely to be significant.
"We have published an amended timetable and are providing a half hourly bus replacement service in either direction and we have additional staff at stations to help customers with their journeys. In addition we have listened to the feedback we have received and have put in place express bus services between Doncaster and Cleethorpes which allow customers to make onward rail connections.
"Unfortunately there is currently no alternative rail route available to us although we will continue to assess and update our plans as needed. I want to thank customers for their patience and understanding and provide an assurance that we will continue to work with Network Rail to return rail services as soon as is safely possible. I would encourage all customers to check the details of their journey before travelling."