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Landslip blocks south east London rail lines

Significant amounts of debris and trees are reported to have fallen onto a rail line following a landslip in Barneshurst in south east London overnight.

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The slope failure is expected to close the Bexleyheath rail line for the rest of the day.

Rail operator Southeastern has said that it expects services to be cancelled on the Bexleyheath line from Dartford into London for the rest of the day following the incident.

The rail line at Barneshurst has suffered a number of minor slope failures in the past with incidents recorded in 2010, 2014 and 2016, which have led to emergency engineering works with the line reopened within a day or two of the ground movement. 

Updates from Network Rail have confirmed that the slope failure is in a different location but within the same cutting as the previous landslips near Barneshurst.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “The failure is within the Harwich formationwith lots of layers of silt, gravel and clay.

”Regular earthworks inspections are undertaken and remote monitoring was installed at the site. This system triggered an alert at 4am this morning and a safety speed restriction was put in place until an engineer visited site and decided it was unsafe to run trains trhough the cutting.”

Network Rail confirmed that the movement at the site has stopped so work is about to start on clearing the debris from the track and H piling will be undertaken to create a retaining wall.

The rail line is expected to remain closed until the weekend to allow the work to be completed.

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