‘Natural spring’ caused ground collapse under Scottish rail line

‘Natural spring’ caused ground collapse under Scottish rail line
‘Natural spring’ caused ground collapse under Scottish rail line

Network Rail and Amco Giffen have worked on a temporary fix for the site of a recent “sinkhole” caused by an underground spring under the tracks at Caldercruix on the Airdrie-Bathgate rail line in Scotland.

Network Rail was alerted to the ground collapse near Caldercruix in North Lanarkshire on the morning of 21 April.

The line between Airdrie and Bathgate had to be closed to allow for investigations into the extent of the void beneath the tracks.

Network Rail said the line would have to remain closed until April 29 due to “the potentially complex nature of the repairs needed to the railway.”

Network Rail and Amco Giffen have worked together to establish the size and depth of the ground collapse and to put together a repair plan. Network Rail’s specialist geotechnical engineers have also been looking into the potential cause of the “sinkhole”.

In an update on 26 April, Network Rail Scotland interim route director Ross Moran said: “Tracking down and confirming the cause [of the sinkhole] has been really difficult.

“It’s a natural spring directly under the track flowing at over 1,500 gallons a minute, so we’ve designed a temporary repair that will allow us to manage this huge volume of water and reopen the line safely.”

A Network Rail spokesperson confirmed that ground conditions were now “good” in the area around the collapse.

Network Rail and its contractor will continue to work on a permanent repair plan.

 
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