Home General Interest Work on Cumbrian embankments almost complete

Work on Cumbrian embankments almost complete

Network Rail is making a £3.5 million investment to protect the railway in Cumbria from landslips and provide more reliable journeys for passengers.

It is upgrading the embankments along the railway to improve journeys on the West Coast main line between Oxenholme and Carlisle. The earth embankments are being made less steep and the ground more secure at two stretches of railway: one located north of Oxenholme and the other just south of Carlisle.

Work is taking place after the site north of Oxenholme was damaged during Storm Desmond in December 2015 and is set to complete later in June 2020. The embankments are constructed from a mix of ash and local material excavated from nearby cuttings, which in these two areas are predominantly taken from glacial deposits – known as Devensian Till.

Richard Hockney, project manager at Network Rail, said: “This essential work as park of the Great North Rail Project will make this busy passenger and freight route more reliable in the future.

“Our teams have worked hard to secure a total of 1.5km of embankment over the last few months, working around challenges brought on by Covid-19.

“I’m proud to be delivering more reliable journeys for passengers and freight services using this vital stretch of railway in Cumbria.”

The railway has been kept open throughout the work.

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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