The railway between Tonbridge and Redhill has been closed since 22 December after a serious landslip between Godstone and Edenbridge stations.
One of Britain’s earliest railways, the line here runs on an “embankment” above the surrounding landscape, built out of earth in the late 1830s. On 22 December, the embankment began to subside and eventually left the tracks hanging over a void. As of 24 December, the ground is still moving and too dangerous to work on. Due to this, the line will be closed and when safe to do so, engineers will move onto the site and assess the best options for rebuilding it.
At the moment, we do not have a timescale for when the line will be fixed but further updates will be provided over the next week. We are sorry for the disruption caused to your journey and we are working hard to find a solution.
After a month’s worth of rain in one week the soil had become saturated and the nearby River Eden overtopped its banks. Kent endured three months’ worth of rainfall in November alone, so the land around the line had become unable to soak up any more rain.
While the exact cause is still to be determined, our geotechnical engineers believe it to be what is known as a “rotational failure” where the land around the railway has risen up, as the railway has sunk.
Once it is safe for our engineers to move onto site, they will forensically investigate the construction of the Victorian railway embankment and assess the best options for rebuilding it – and preventing any further failures nearby.
The location is very awkward and to gain access to the railway we will have to build a road across the fields, cut a hole in an abandoned railway embankment, and then build a bridge over the River Eden.
We cannot give any timescales yet as we have to access the site first.
What about my trains?
Our colleagues at Southern have issued travel arrangements while the line is closed;
- Bus replacement service between Tonbridge – Redhill from Friday 27 December – Sunday 5 January.
- Train shuttle service between Tonbridge – Edenbridge from Monday 6 January with a bus replacement service serving all other stations on the route.
- Bus replacement service for every weekend until further notice (starting from Saturday 11 January).