Lime Street Wall Collapse Thu 2 3 17 6

‘Orange army’ moves in to clear Lime Street wall collapse

Work has started to make safe the storage container yard above the embankment where 200 tonnes of rubble fell onto tracks into Liverpool’s main train station, closing it to all services with no definite reopening date in sight.

See gallery below

At-a-glance update:

  • Network Rail believes the land where the containers were stored to be owned by Liverpool City Council
  • Liverpool City Council believes it is not its land but is investigating
  • The name of the tenant company which placed the containers has not been released
  • Accident believed to be caused by five large containers placed at top of embankment
  • Network Rail’s accident investigation branch has begun its investigation

The clear-up and repair operation is in three stages

At the container yard:

  • Remove containers, done last night
  • Clear concrete slab 10” thick and topsoil, ongoing today

Retaining wall:

  • Excavate back soil behind retaining wall
  • Strengthen and secure retaining wall
  • Tunnels have been identified under the container yard which could hamper progress

Track clearance and repair:

  • Once area at foot of wall on tracks is safe remove 200 tonnes of rubble and soil
  • Fix and replace cables
  • Repair overhead power lines
  • Repair tracks

Yesterday, the National Rail Enquiries division of Network Rail said Monday 6 March was the estimated reopening date. Today, a Network Rail spokesman said the company was not sure how long the work would take and was not being held to a date, other than saying “several days”.

No trains are running in or out of Liverpool Lime Street and train operators continue to operate reduced services and replacement buses.

A spokesperson for Network Rail said: “Our orange army engineers are working round the clock to get train services back up and running. This is set to take several days.

“Our activities are in three steps: firstly, making the location safe, which we’re doing now. This will allow us to start step two, safely accessing the tracks below to clear the debris, before step three, repairing the damaged railway.

“Overnight we removed 60 tonnes of soil and five large containers, each holding many tonnes of material, from the top of the cutting to prevent further slips.

“Today we’re removing a 10 inch-thick concrete slab. Only once this is removed can we start stabilising the retaining wall in the 10 metre-high cutting.

“Train customers are advised to check before they travel at and with train operators for the latest information.”

Click image to launch gallery

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