The information in your Looking Back feature, supplied by Valerie Bugg along with the photograph of Harbury Cutting, is correct.
However you wrongly labelled the photograph as showing the line under construction.
The line opened initially in 1852 as Valerie Bugg states and the County Museum’s information sheet supplied with the photograph suggests a date for the image of 1868-9
It points out that the navvies are changing the rails from dual to standard gauge.
Brunel first built to broad gauge and changed to Dual (or mixed) gauge and finally remodelled the track to the standard gauge.
The museum dates the reopening of the line in standard gauge to April 1, 1869.
There is no information to suggest that this photograph shows the cutting being re-profiled or indeed that it was unstable.
The present work there has obliterated all natural vegetation and resident wildlife.
We wait to see if this aggressive engineering work… works!
Linda Ridgley, Farm Street, Harbury