Home General Interest Line between Guildford and Wokingham reopens

Line between Guildford and Wokingham reopens

Services between Guildford, Aldershot and Wokingham have restarted following repair of a 40-metre landslip near the small village of Wanborough over the Christmas period.

Heavy rain from Storm Bella caused the embankment to deteriorate, leaving the track unsupported. The line was closed for safety reasons and emergency work was carried out. Network Rail engineers stabilised the site near Westwood Lane bridge, sinking 17-metre-long steel sheets into the ground to prevent the earth from moving any further.

Mark Killick, route director, Network Rail Wessex said: “The emergency work is now complete and the line has reopened for critical workers, however our team will stay on site to deliver the remaining activity and ensure the embankment is secure for years to come.”

Derek Butcher, Network Rail Southern region’s route asset manager for geotechnics, said: “London Clay is not a material we would build railways out of these days, but our Victorian ancestors weren’t so advanced with their knowledge of soil mechanics. At this location the embankment had absorbed so much water over December, it moved out from underneath the track, leaving the railway unsupported.”

Nigel Wordsworth BSc(Hons) MCIJhttp://therailengineer.com

SPECIALIST AREAS Rolling stock, mechanical equipment, project reports, executive interviews


Nigel Wordsworth graduated with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University, after which he joined the American aerospace and industrial fastener group SPS Technologies. After a short time at the research laboratories in Pennsylvania, USA, Nigel became responsible for applications engineering to industry in the UK and Western Europe. At this time he advised on various engineering projects, from Formula 1 to machine tools, including a particularly problematic area of bogie design for the HST.

A move to the power generation and offshore oil supply sector followed as Nigel became director of Entwistle-Sandiacre, a subsidiary of the Australian-owned group Aurora plc. At the same time, Nigel spent ten years as a Technical Commissioner with the RAC Motor Sports Association, responsible for drafting and enforcing technical regulations for national and international motor racing series.

Joining Rail Engineer in 2008, Nigel’s first assignment was a report on new three-dimensional mobile mapping and surveying equipment, swiftly followed by a look at vegetation control machinery. He continues to write on a variety of topics for most issues.

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