The cutting above damems junction has a large amount of water flowing towards it from the surrounding land. There is a ditch at the crest of the cutting which captures a lot of the water, flowing towards the signal box where it crosses under the track and into the river worth. This drain serves an important function in reducing the water on the slopes and reducing the chances of landslides.
Over the last five years, we have steadily improved the drainage in the area. First, we improved the drain that crosses beneath the track, followed by building a better connection from the ditch. We have then extensively cleared and reprofiled the ditch so that it functions better, with some long overdue maintenance.
Recently we undertook the next stage of improvements which was to repair one of the catch pits we installed in 2017. I am not afraid to admit I made an error when it was installed, so we excavated around the catch pit to install a concrete surround, preventing water from seeping out of the catch pit into the surrounding ground. While doing this we have installed plastic channels into the ditch upstream. In this steep section of ditch, during heavy rain the ditch would be eroded, washing material into the pipes downstream. To prevent this and also try and reduce the velocity of the water, plastic channels with steps between have been installed which reduces the energy in the water. We have used this method with success elsewhere on the railway.
The next improvements scheduled for the area are installing new track drainage from Damems Junction, about halfway to Oakworth. That will be a week-long job during one of our civil weeks
James Barlow (Chief Civil Engineer)