The investigation process of a ground collapse that appeared next to the Kilmarnock-Barassie line in Scotland over a week ago has been commenced by Network Rail and the Coal Authority.
While the void was identified on 4 June along a section of the line among Kilmarnock and Barassie, in order to allow investigation work to be completed the line has been closed.
Cooperating with experts from the Coal Authority, Network Rail is working to investigate potential mine workings in the area.
Launching an exclusion zone around the site, expert engineers confirm the cause of the hole, as well as its full size and depth.
Although those investigations will then let Network Rail plan a program of repairs and give a clearer indication of when the line can reopen for passengers, considering the potential complexity of the repairs needed to stabilize the mine workings beneath the track, the line is estimated to remain closed for a number of weeks.
In the meantime, services between Kilmarnock and Barassie will remain suspended.
According to Network Rail project manager Tom Podger: “Holes like this are very unusual on the railway, and we’re working with the Coal Authority to identify the cause, as well as finding a solution to make the railway safe for trains to pass again.”
He also added: “We understand the inconvenience this incident will cause to some passengers, and I’d like to thank those customers for their patience and understanding while work continues.”