Train delays between Hull and Doncaster 'to last until June'
Train passengers are facing another "16 to 18 weeks" of disruption on the Hull to Doncaster line because of a landslip at Hatfield, Network Rail said today.
The problems began on Monday, February 11, when a spoil heap at Hatfield Colliery slid on to the tracks and severely damaged the line at Stainforth.
Services between Goole and Doncaster have been replaced by buses and delayed by up to an hour. Other trains have been diverted.
Network Rail said today its engineers were now beginning the "slow process" of removing spoil.
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Work has been delayed until now because the heap was still moving.
Phil Verster, route managing director for Network Rail, said: "I want to thank passengers and our freight customers for their patience in this difficult time.
"In recent days it has become apparent that the damage to the railway is a lot worse than we originally thought and the repair work will be more complex.
"Clearly our priority is to get rail services running again as quickly as possible but we need to do so safely.
"The complexities of this job mean that it will take 16 to 18 weeks to complete, approximately until the end of June. However we will not be in a position to confirm this timeline until more extensive investigations have been completed in the next few days.
"We will do everything possible to reduce the time it will take to get the railway back.
Mr Verster said Network Rail was "working closely with train operators" to reduce disruption for passengers.
Richard Allan, of Northern Rail, which operates the majority of local services, said: "I’d like to thank everyone for their continued patience as this essential work is carried out and the line returned to us as soon as possible."