Engineers have been working on the broken track since the incident at the weekend (Picture: PA)
Commuters could end up being stuck in travel chaos after a ‘huge’ landslip left services into and out of London up in the air.
The 44-metre landslip happened on the embankment to the northeast of Hook station in Hampshire, on the line from London to Basingstoke, over the weekend.
The incident was causing major disruption to services this morning, with passengers warned not to travel from London towards the south or west of Basingstoke or vice versa.
National Rail warned passengers against ‘all but essential travel’ on services that usually pass through the area.
This includes trains between London and Basingstoke, Bournemouth, Southampton, Weymouth, Salisbury, and Exeter.
It said on its website said: ‘Trains will not be able to serve Hook, Winchfield or Fleet stations until further notice.
‘Please do not attempt to travel to or from these stations by train as you will not be able to do so.’
Engineers said it was a ‘rotational failure’ (Picture: Twitter/@NetworkRailWssx)
The damage has left only two of the four-track railway passable with both these tracks designed for London-bound trains only (Picture: PA)
It added that while the wider South Western Railway network is operating as usual.
Some London services and trains between London and Portsmouth via Guildford, Reading or Windsor may be busier than usual because of the incident.
Network Rail Wessex route director Mark Killick said: ‘This is a huge landslip and will have a massive effect on customers.
‘The main line to Basingstoke is the spine of our railway and there will be knock-on impacts across the route.
‘I can only apologise for the scale of the disruption and please ask that customers check before they travel this week, not just on the affected section, but all the way up the line to London Waterloo, where many of the trains that would use this section of railway start and finish their journeys.
‘We’re still assessing the damage and it’s difficult to put a detailed timescale in place, but we know it’s going to be at least a week.
‘We will need to stabilise the embankment, essentially stopping it moving, and then rebuild the railway where it has slid away.
‘We’ll keep everyone informed of our progress and I can only say thank you to everyone for their patience and apologise again for the disruption’
A Network Rail spokesman said that the embankment was made of a mixture of London clay and other local soils which had become saturated after days of heavy rain.
He said: ‘The slip happened when the soil gave way along a 44-metre section of 10m-high embankment, sliding out from underneath the tracks, in what engineers call a ‘rotational failure’.
‘Network Rail and its suppliers are working on designs for the work needed to repair the railway, which will give a clearer idea of timescales.’
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