No more cracks in the Potteries: moving railway embankment stabilised in Stoke-on-Trent

The first phase of a £4m project to stabilise a moving railway embankment beside a residential street in Stoke-on-Trent is complete.

Work began in February to stop West Parade in Mount Pleasant slowly edging towards the busy West Coast main line below, causing cracks to appear on the road surface.

Network Rail engineers stabilised the ground by digging up the top two metres of the embankment, replacing it with reinforced earth and supporting it with a new 70 metre long wall and fence.

This first phase of the project cost £700,000 and was completed on time and on budget.

Tony Butler, route asset manager for earthworks at Network Rail, said:“Our £700,000 investment at West Parade is one of a number of sites between London and Carlisle we’re making safe over the next five years as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan. A second phase of work is due to take place at track level within the next two years to secure the long-term stability of the site.

“Due to West Parade’s road surface showing visible signs of movement, we had to act quickly to maintain access for residents, as well as protect the West Coast main line below – the busiest mixed-use railway in Europe.

“Above all, we’d like to express our sincere gratitude to residents for their patience and cooperation while we have closed the road to complete this vital work.”

James Capewell, a resident at Mount Pleasant said:“Given the scale of the work to make the embankment safe and the recent poor weather conditions, Network Rail has done a fantastic job and the road looks brand new. Their workers were very polite and kept the disruption to residents to an absolute minimum.”

The improvements also saw new drainage installed along the railway embankment and the road has been fully resurfaced.

This earthwork scheme forms part of a £240m Rail Upgrade Plan fund to keep 2,500 railway locations between London and Carlisle safe and reliable over the next five years.