Rail services between Manchester and Buxton have resumed after Network Rail engineers removed 15 foot long icicles that formed in a railway tunnel.
The rail infrastructure operator said the icicles, in Eaves Tunnel, posed a safety risk for drivers and passengers if they hit, or were hit by, trains. and that no trains could run through the area until they were removed.
Engineers used ‘all tools available’ to remove the icicles, including snow ploughs and railway vehicles. Scaffolding was installed inside certain areas of the tunnel to remove hard-to-reach ice.
A Network Rail spokesperson said: ‘Due to the treacherous conditions at Eaves Tunnel, we’ve closed the Hazel Grove to Buxton line to trains for safety reasons.
‘To get the line up and running as quickly as possible, we’re using a number of methods. This includes using our own snow ploughs, road rail vehicles, as well as installing scaffolding inside the tunnel to hack away at the sheer number of icicles that have formed as a result of the cold weather.’
Network Rail said that with the current freezing conditions set to continue over the next few days, its ‘Team Orange’ was using all available resource to remove icicles ‘from Eaves Tunnel and any other locations where they may form’.