VIDEO UPDATE: Cost could be tens of millions to repair Scunthorpe to Doncaster rail route so trains can run again but it could take until late June
It looks like taking at least until late June before trains will be running again between Scunthorpe and Doncaster.
And Network rail bosses today revealed it might cost tens of millions of pounds to repair the track and area damaged by a landslide near Hatfield Colliery which continues to affect thousands of passengers wishing to travel between Scunthorpe and Doncaster.
Phil Verster, route managing director for Network Rail, said: "We are committed to recovery and will incur the cost to recover the railway.
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"We are not allowing finances to stop us.
"I think it may cost tens of millions to sort out and it is by far the biggest operation we have seen in recent years."
Work has now begun to start recovering the railway line and Network Rail are in negotiations with the colliery to create a valley at the site where material will be deposited in order to stabilise the spoil heap.
Mr Verster said: "There is 1 million cubic meters of material to move, so this means we need a lot of trucks.
"So far there has been excellent collaboration between Hatfield Colliery, Hargreaves [the colliery owners] and Network Rail to find a solution to this problem as quickly as possible.
"This is weird stuff and new to us.
"As we carry out the work, we may come across challenges but we are all focused on getting the line open again."
The landslide has now stabilised and experts are predicting it will be 16 to 18 weeks before the line is reopened.
A spokesperson for Hargreaves Services said: "Since the landslip occurred earlier in February, Hatfield Colliery has been working closely with all parties (including Network Rail, civil engineering experts, government agencies and Doncaster MBC) to address the issues brought about by the event.
"Now that the tip has stopped moving, the parties are working towards a solution to restore rail services.
"The colliery continues to work with Network Rail and provide all possible support.
"The colliery is meeting regularly with the Mayor of Stainforth and the Town Council in order to keep residents informed of progress and discuss any concerns they may have.
"The colliery has continued to operate throughout this period."
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