West Coast closure takes advantage of muted passenger numbers

ON 20 MARCH, Network Rail completed a five-day engineering blockade of Crick tunnel, on the Northampton loop of the West Coast main line. The 140-year-old, 594-yard tunnel has been a serious problem in recent years, with Network Rail reporting that between 2012 and 2020 the tunnel flooded for a total of 15,000 minutes with 18 significant flooding incidents. Water flows onto the railway from surrounding land and there was a danger of landslips on the cuttings approaching the tunnel, while drains within the tunnel had failed and old Victorian clay pipes diverting water to the Grand Union canal had in many cases become blocked or broken.

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