20 weeks of work to tackle distorted tunnel walls
Repairs which saw more than 3,000 tonnes of concrete used to strengthen a vital rail tunnel have been completed.
Holme Tunnel, on the line between Burnley and Hebden Bridge, reopened to passenger services on 24 March after a 20 week closure to carry out essential improvement work.
The 250m tunnel had become increasingly misaligned over time because of local ground movement which had distorted the tunnel walls.
Network Rail realigned and strengthened large sections of the tunnel’s walls and re-laid more than two kilometres of track within and on the approach to the tunnel.
Ian Joslin, area director for Network Rail, said: ‘It was a significant engineering challenge to repair and strengthen Holme Tunnel, which although safe for trains to use before the closure, had been significantly damaged over the years because of ground movement.
‘On average more than 40 tonnes of new materials were used for every metre of reconstruction within the tunnel, a measure of the scale of the challenge and work undertaken.
‘The upgrade and new track will help to provide a more reliable railway and provide passengers with a quieter and smoother journey. The investment is part of Network Rail’s commitment to provide a safer and more efficient railway and I’d like to thank passengers for their understanding while this essential work was carried out.’
To complete the upgrade, the strengthened tunnel required:
- Over 400 tonnes of new steelwork,
- Over 2,400 tonnes of fibre reinforced concrete,
- Over 650 tonnes of precast concrete,
- Over 2.6km of new rail,
- Over 2,000 new sleepers,
- 2,800 tonnes of new ballast.