VolkerFitzpatrick mobilises swiftly to support Network Rail in laying vital new track at Hook landslip

The VolkerFitzpatrick team is working hard to repair a huge landslip at Hook in Hampshire, that will temporarily remodel undamaged track to give passengers a better train service while long-term repairs continue. The slip, on an embankment to the northeast of Hook station, has left only two tracks of the four-track railway passable by trains, with both tracks designed to be used by London-bound trains only.

Hook Slip (2) WEB.jpg
Hook Slip (2) WEB.jpg

Network Rail Wessex, route director Mark Killick said: “We’re going to move the track onto a stable section of the embankment so that we can have a line running in each direction. While it’s a very unusual approach to change the track layout, it means we can run more trains and give customers a much better experience while we fix the embankment. The only downside is that we will need to close the railway again once the embankment is repaired to restore the track layout to its original position, but it gives the least disruptive solution for our customers. In the meantime, we will be able to continue the embankment repairs, while running a significantly improved train service. We’ll have hundreds of engineers working round the clock, but we still expect the fix to take a number of weeks, as it’s a very complex engineering project.”

The landslip is in a remote location, so a 580-metre-long access road has been built across fields to get materials and machinery to the site.

The team is constructing a 60-metre retaining wall, made up of almost one hundred 12-metre long sheet piles which are driven into the ground to stabilise the embankment and protect the railway from future landslips. They will also regrade the steepness of the embankment slope to reduce the risk of material falling.

These vital works have been given the same considered approach used by the VolkerFitzpatrick team on all its projects. James McMorrow, head of sustainability for VolkerFitzpatrick, said: “We are committed to ensuring all works are completed with due care and consideration to the environment. We have mobilised an ecologist throughout the duration of the vegetation clearance to ensure that we protect wildlife, consider local livestock and safeguard protected habitats. In line with our carbon reduction strategy, we are making the welfare facilities diesel free, trialling an innovative hybrid generator using hydrogen and biodiesel - a VolkerFitzpatrick first.”

Mike Evans, operations director for VolkerFitzpatrick, said: “We are working around the clock with Network Rail to solve the issues at Hook, while ensuring everyone’s safety and minimising disruption for passengers. The team has done a great job mobilising and coming up with innovative ideas for Network Rail, while also considering the needs of commuters, nearby residents, and the environment.”

Further information can be found on Network Rail’s website.