Hastings landslip line to reopen 'early next week'

Landslip at Whatlington Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption The ground continued to move, despite repairs at the landslip site near Whatlington

A railway line linking East Sussex, Kent and London is set to reopen early next week after months of closures due to landslips, Network Rail says.

Train services between Hastings and London via Tunbridge Wells have been disrupted since December.

The line between Robertsbridge and Battle was due to reopen on 3 March.

Network Rail said the railway line had been rebuilt near Whatlington after repairs to a landslip failed at the beginning of March.

The line was first affected by a series of landslips in December.

More than 10,000 tonnes of stone were initially used for the repairs at Stonegate on the line linking Hastings and Tunbridge Wells.

'Around the clock'

However, more rain then caused further landslides around Whatlington, which meant buses had to continue cto replace trains between Battle and Robertsbridge.

Dave Ward, the company's route managing director, said the site had been difficult to stabilise.

"We thought we'd repaired the slip, but it failed again three weeks ago," he said.

He said crews had worked "around the clock" and that a further 144 piles and 15,000 tonnes of ballast had been used on that section of the line.

"We've effectively had to rebuild the railway there. It's been extremely difficult," he said.

"We can only apologise."

Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption Landslips first closed a section of the line between Hastings and London in December

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