Rory Stewart MP last week visited the site of a major landslide, caused by the December 2015 storms, which closed part of the historic ‘Carlisle to Settle’ line between Carlisle and Appleby.

The landslide, which occurred at Eden Brows, Armathwaite, was caused by the swelling of the River Eden during Storm Desmond, and Network Rail, along with their contractor, Story, are in the process of designing a complex engineering solution to protect this section of the Settle to Carlisle line for the long-term. Access roads and compounds have been built at the site to allow access for workmen and heavy machinery to carry out the repairs as soon as the plans are finalised.

The area of land affected by the landslip is more than 130m long and 70m wide and an estimated 500,000 tonnes of earth has already been moved – 10 times the weight of the QE2 ocean liner when it is fully loaded – and the embankment is still moving.

Following the visit Rory said: “Repairing the extensive damage caused by this landslide is a massive challenge and I am impressed by the ingenuity with which Network Rail and Story have approached the problem. This is an immense project and it is important to find an effective and sustainable solution which takes into account the complex geology of the area and which will protect this iconic railway line for many years to come.”

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