DISRUPTION to train services after a major landslide from a colliery in South Yorkshire is expected to continue until the end of June, rail bosses have announced.
The line between Doncaster, Scunthorpe and Cleethorpes has been shut since a spoil heap collapsed at Hatfield colliery in Stainforth last month and pushed up the track.
Engineers are now beginning to remove the material after the mound stopped moving, allowing them to conduct more detailed surveys of the damage and plan repair works.
Phil Verster, route managing director for Network Rail, 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 rail services running again as quickly as possible but we need to do so safely.”
The damage has caused long delays for passengers since the lFirst TransPennine Express has put on replacement bus services between Doncaster, Scunthorpe and Cleethorpes while the repairs are carried out.
Managing director Nick Donovan said: “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. 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.”
The work is expected to take 16 to 18 weeks to complete but Network Rail said it could not confirm this until more investigations had been carried out.
If it takes longer, it may clash with maintenance work due to be carried out on Selby swing bridge from July to September, limiting the diversionary routes available to passenger services. Network Rail said it was working with train operators to identify alternative arrangements if necessary.