Major works on the Dawlish line have recently begun in an effort to develop a long-term solution for protecting the railway whilst minimising disruption for passengers.
The month of November marks the next phase in protecting the railway from the force of the waves by repairing four breakwaters at Boat Cove, Coastguards Point, Colonnade Underpass and Langstone Rock. The work is set to take six months and world-leading engineers are carrying out detailed ground investigations to develop a long term solution for protecting the railway.
The Government has already provided £15m for Network Rail to design a long-lasting solution to this problem, in addition to the £40m spent by Network Rail to repair the damage caused in the 2014 storm. Further plans for major improvements of the seawall at Dawlish will be published in the summer 2019. Overall, the Government is investing more than £400m in the rail network in the South West and will continue to work with Network Rail and the Peninsula Rail Task Force to explore the potential for longer term improvements from summer 2019 onwards.
George Eustice MP said, “These essential works to strengthen the cliffs and protect the sea wall are part of our £15m investment to makt e the railway at Dawlish and Teignmouth more resilient to extreme weather. This improvement to the South West’s transport infrastructure is a national priority and is essential for unlocking the region’s economy, jobs and prosperity.”