At last! Railway set to reopen after landslip

This picture shows the extent of the damage caused by the land slip at Hatfield Colliery. February 12, 2013.
This picture shows the extent of the damage caused by the land slip at Hatfield Colliery. February 12, 2013.

Trains will be able to run through the Isle of Axholme again next month for the first time since a landslip in Doncaster caused the line to close.

Passengers will be able to get a train through Hatfield and Stainforth from July 8, meaning stations such as Crowle and Althorpe will be able to be accessed by the route again.

Services will be reintroduced following a complex and intricate programme to stabilise and reinstate the railway following a spoil heap slip at Hatfield Colliery in February. The passenger timetable will be fully re-introduced by July 29.

Phil Verster, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “We are in the business of running trains yet this spoil slip has forced passengers onto buses for almost six months.

“I am grateful for their patience and understanding. I also thank freight customers who have been forced to take lengthy diversions to deliver essential goods upon which our economy relies.

“Because the rail line has been unavailable for so long we cannot run a full service from the first day the line is open.

“We are working closely with operators to reintroduce services as quickly and efficiently as possible. We will work with operators to give clear, timely guidance to passengers about which services are operating.”

Safety regulations require all train drivers to have what is called ‘route knowledge’ of the lines they drive along.

Because the line at Hatfield and Stainforth has been closed for so long, some drivers will have to re-learn the route in order to comply with safety standards. The area they need to re-learn is several miles long.

A spokesperson for the train operators said: “It’s great to see work progressing well at Hatfield and Stainforth and I would like to echo the thanks to our customers for their understanding during this disruption. Working with our partners, we look forward to reintroducing services over a gradual period and then delivering the normal timetable from 29 July.”

Passenger services are likely to resume with both Northern Rail and First Trans Pennine Express running a bi-hourly service supplemented with buses.