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islandlinebenchingWork to complete the ten-week engineering project to repair the storm-damaged rail network on the Isle of Wight continues this week.

Under the supervision of an Engineering Geologist, engineers have been digging steps into the bank at Sandown, a technique called benching, to help make the slope more stable. However, whilst removing the soil it was discovered that other areas of the land had slipped, meaning that a deeper excavation has taken place to reach the stable ground underneath. Although this has caused a delay, Island Line say they are still on track to complete the repairs within the 10 weeks.

The train operator say that during the last two weeks they have finished replacing the sewer; completed excavations; started benching and started to fill the slope with new granular fill. They have also installed material at the base of the slope to support the steel retaining wall with the first of two supporting walls inserted at the base of the slope providing protection against future landslips.

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Over the next fortnight it is planned that contractors will finish the benching work; insert material to the top of the piling sheets and insert drainage pipes under the lower wall to help prevent flooding.

Positive feedback has been received by Island Line about the bus replacement service from customers who have recognised the benefit of the additional bus options available via Southern Vectis Route 2 & 3 services, alongside the hourly replacement buses. The train shuttle is also working effectively, providing timely links with Wightlink and Hovertravel throughout the day.

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