Network Rail begin recovery efforts for Cambrian line after severe storms

Network Rail engineers are working on extensive repairs to the Cambrian line, after devastating flash flooding caused by the storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin.

Network Rail Storm

Credit: Network Rail

Floodwaters has caused major damage after River Severn bursts its banks. Network Rail engineers are now working round the clock to repair the railway following the devastating storms with the Cambrian line between Welshpool and Newtown, likely to remain closed for several weeks after major flooding.

Engineers have been on site near Welshpool, using drones and specialist equipment to assess the scale of the damage. In at least 12 locations along half a mile, ballast has been completely washed away by the force of the floodwater.

The Wales and Borders rail network was hit by three named storms in five days. Storms Dudley and Eunice led to more than 100 trees falling on the track, with power outages and damage to station buildings and level crossings. Furthermore, Storm Franklin brought extreme rainfall and flooding in mid-Wales and the Borders. The full extent of the damage on the Cambrian line will be established as further investigations take place.

“Fast flowing flood water of biblical proportions has devastated a section of the railway south of Welshpool, and it’s going to require extensive repairs before we can safely reopen the line,” Bill Kelly, Route Director for Network Rail Wales and Borders, said. “The images from site speak for themselves, there are multiple sites where the ballast supporting the track has been completely washed away. With climate change, we’re seeing more and more extreme weather like this so it’s vital we continue our mission to build a more resilient railway for Wales and Borders.”

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