Trains will be able to run through the site of Doncaster landslip again next month, railway bosses have confirmed.
Passengers will be able to get a train through Hatfield and Stainforth from July 8. Services will be reintroduced following a complex and intricate programme to stabilise and reinstate the railway following a spoil heap slip in February. The passenger timetable will fully re-introduced by 29 July.
It will mean stations such as Crowle and Althorpe, in the Isle of Axholme, will be able to be accessed by the route again.
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. This process is underway and will be completed as quickly and efficiently as possible.
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. Full details of the timetable will be published in the coming weeks.