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Stainforth landslip rail line to be closed until June

On 12 February 2013 the BGS Landslide Response Team received reports of a landslide affecting the railway near Hatfield and Stainforth Station, near Doncaster in South Yorkshire.

Network Rail said the track at Stainforth could be repaired as the spoil heap had now stabilised

A railway line closed after a major landslip is not likely to reopen until the summer, Network Rail has said.

The spoil heap collapse at Hatfield Colliery at Stainforth, South Yorkshire, has pushed up the track.

Network Rail said the spoil heap had stopped moving and it had been able to survey the damage, which it said was "a lot worse than we originally thought".

Rail services between Doncaster, Scunthorpe and Cleethorpes are expected to be suspended until the end of June.

Buses have replaced those services and an amended timetable will run until the track is repaired.

Phil Verster, route managing director for Network Rail, thanked passengers and freight customers for their "patience in this difficult time".

He said: "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 rails services running again as quickly as possible but we need to do so safely."

13 February 2013

South Yorkshire landslip rail line closed for weeks

Train services between Doncaster, Scunthorpe and Cleethorpes will be suspended for at least eight weeks after a landslip, Network Rail said.

It said an "enormous" spoil heap at Hatfield Colliery at Stainforth, South Yorkshire was "pushing up the track".

The landslip lifted a section of railway track and is still moving.

Buses will replace trains between Doncaster and Scunthorpe and an amended timetable will run until the heap is stabilised and the track repaired.

Extremely unstable

Rachel Lowe from Network Rail said: "This is an absolutely enormous task. We will have to re-lay the whole area.

"Our engineers have been at Hatfield Colliery throughout this event and are dealing with their experts. They obviously have to stop this movement before we can do anything about restoring the railway."

Network Rail engineers have not been permitted to start work on the site but an initial estimate said the line would be shut for about eight weeks once the land stops moving.

Hargreaves Services, which runs the colliery, said a team of engineers was assessing the situation.

Nick Donovan, managing director of First TransPennine Express, said the ground remained extremely unstable and advised customers to check before travelling.

14 February 2013 

The mayor of a South Yorkshire town overlooked by a spoil heap which collapsed said "it could have been another Aberfan".

The landslip at Stainforth has closed a rail line, but Arlene Abbot said it could have hit "houses, children and schools" if it had gone the other way.

Hatfield Colliery said the slip had happened in a "separate area".

In 1966 a spoil heap landslide in Aberfan, south Wales, killed 144 people, including 116 children.

Hargreaves Services, which runs Hatfield Colliery, said their tips are "constantly monitored" in line with legislation introduced after the disaster.

Train services between Doncaster, Scunthorpe and Cleethorpes will be suspended for at least eight weeks after the landslip lifted a section of railway track.

It is not yet known what caused the collapse.

'Black hills'

Ms Abbott, mayor of Stainforth Town Council, said residents have always been worried about the spoil heaps.

"We call them the black hills because it's that high. We've always been concerned with them but in the last two, three or four years they've got higher and higher and our concern is you never know what's going to happen," she said.

Michael O'Sullivan from Hargreaves said the area that collapsed is 1000m (3280ft) away from houses in Stainforth, and is completely separate from the heap closest to the town.

He said: "That area has not been worked for some while. The south area (where the landslip happened) is one that is currently being worked with spoil coming out of the mine.

"Neither our engineers, Network Rail or the Health and Safety Executive and their engineers are entirely certain what has caused this approximately 200m (656ft) slip."

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