A NINE-day closure is set to hit a busy Shropshire railway line as essential works take place.

Buses will replace trains between Hereford and Shrewsbury during a nine-day closure on the Marches Line between September 12 and 21 as teams work around the clock to renew the track and ballast inside the historic Dinmore Tunnel in Herefordshire.

Network Rail, along with principal contractors, Colas Rail, will be carrying out the works to the up-side (track travelling towards London) of the tunnel, which was constructed in 1853.

Transport for Wales will operate a bus replacement service from Hereford to Shrewsbury while the railway is shut, followed by a reduced rail service from Cardiff to Shrewsbury from September 22 to 29. 

The work will take place 24 hours a day, with minor traffic obstructions between Cherry Brooke/Old Dinmore Hill and Wellington Level Crossing in Herefordshire for the safe movement of materials into and out of the tunnel.

There will also be a temporary road closure near the crossing between 8pm and 6am daily from September 11 to 22.

Clarisse Grother, senior programme manager at Network Rail Wales and Borders, said: “We understand that there is never a good time to close the railway or roads but this essential work in Dinmore Tunnel will improve reliability on the Marches Line, ensuring this important and well-travelled link between South Wales, the Midlands, North of England and beyond is secure for the future.

“We will be working around the clock to get the work completed as quickly and safely as possible, and I would like to apologise to passengers and the local community for any disruption this may cause.”