PICTURES: Work underway to repair Buxton railway line damaged by flooding

Damaged track at Middlewood station after flash floods. Photo: Network Rail.
Damaged track at Middlewood station after flash floods. Photo: Network Rail.

Emergency work is ongoing to repair the railway between Buxton and Hazel Grove after heavy rain last weekend caused significant damage to the track and embankment.

Up to 6,000 tonnes of material were dislodged and washed away during flash flooding in the Disley, Poynton and Hazel Grove areas.

Work ongoing at Middlewood to repair the landslip. Photo: Network Rail.

Work ongoing at Middlewood to repair the landslip. Photo: Network Rail.

Network Rail’s ‘Orange Army’ is on site working to repair the damage, which involves rebuilding a section of embankment and removing and replacing track and ballast - the stone which provides the foundation of the railway - near Middlewood station at High Lane.

Terry Strickland, area director for Network Rail said: “Nearly two inches of rain in less than two hours is fairly exceptional and the damage it caused to the railway was not insignificant.

“We understand the impact that this temporary closure will have on passengers and we will be doing all we can, as quickly and safely as we can, so the railway is reopened as soon as possible.”

Alongside the major work to remove and replace track, other material from the railway and neighbouring land will also have to be removed and several sections of the cutting slope repaired.

The Orange Army on site repairing flood damage at Middlewood. Photo: Network Rail.

The Orange Army on site repairing flood damage at Middlewood. Photo: Network Rail.

Network Rail is unable to give a final date for the completion of the work, but has assured passengers they will be told at the earliest opportunity once this has been confirmed.

Services along the branch line - which is an important transport link between the High Peak, Stockport and Manchester - were initially suspended completely over the weekend.

Northern is now operating an hourly train service in both directions between Buxton and Furness Vale and rail replacement transport between Furness Vale and Hazel Grove - extending overall journey times by up to one hour.

There will also be rail replacement transport between Furness Vale and New Mills Central to connect to services into Manchester.

East Midlands Trains will call additionally at Hazel Grove in both directions until further notice.

A spokesperson for Northern said: “Due to a landslip at Middlewood station, services between Hazel Grove and Buxton are disrupted until further notice. We are expecting services to resume no earlier than Saturday June 25. This date may be revised based on the progress of the repair work.

“We are working closely with our colleagues at Network Rail to keep the disruption down to a minimum and return services to normal as soon as we can. We are very sorry for the inconvenience and delay this will cause to your journey.”

Commuters are advised to check before they travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk for the latest information and allow additional travelling time where possible. More information is also available on Northern’s travel information page.