Stainforth landslip rail line 'could reopen in July'

Damage at landslip site The line running alongside Hatfield Colliery has been closed since the landslip in February
Damage at landslip site About one million cubic metres of collapsed mining spoil has to be removed from the Hatfield Colliery site before the line can reopen
Aerial view of landslip This aerial image of the Hatfield Colliery site, taken on 16 February, shows the extent of the landslip
Spoil removal from landslip site Last week engineers began work to remove material from the railway line damaged by the landslip
Spoil removal from landslip site Network Rail said depending on weather conditions the line between Doncaster, Cleethorpes and Scunthorpe could be restored in July

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A railway line closed after a landslip in South Yorkshire could reopen in July - two months earlier than expected, Network Rail has said.

Services between Doncaster, Scunthorpe and Cleethorpes were suspended in February after a spoil heap collapse at Hatfield Colliery at Stainforth.

Earlier, it was thought the route might not reopen until September.

Last week engineers began work to remove material from the rail line damaged by the landslip.

About one million cubic metres of collapsed mining spoil has to be cleared from the Hatfield colliery site.

Weather-dependent

Phil Verster, from Network Rail, said he had "increased confidence" the work could be finished earlier than thought.

"However, that remains subject to weather conditions on site and the behaviour of the spoil, which can be unpredictable," he said.

"Therefore we continue to aim for July but plan for a September restoration to make sure we have a clear, workable train plan."

A weekly train service between Cleethorpes and Sheffield using the Brigg Line - a route primarily used by freight trains - will begin as planned on Saturday 25 May, said Network Rail.

That is in addition to three services in each direction which are operated on the route every Saturday by Northern Rail.

In the meantime, a replacement bus service will continue to operate between Doncaster and Cleethorpes and Doncaster and Scunthorpe.

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