Wednesday 25 Feb 2004


Region & Route:
| Wales & Western: Wales & Borders
| Wales & Western
The third phase of the programme of works to improve safety on Devon’s mainline coastal railway has got underway.             Altogether, Network Rail is spending more than £6 million on the first three phases of the scheme, which aims to stabilise and manage the historic coastline between Teignmouth and Dawlish Warren and at the same time reduce the risks resulting from landslips on the main line.             Phase three is costing £2.8 million and involves providing rock netting along the cliff face which will help stop slips and contain any rocks/cliff material which does move, preventing them from bouncing and ending up on the line. This contract has been awarded to Dean & Dyball.             Already, Network Rail has spent £2.1 million on phase one of the project, which started in July 2001 and involved emergency work in five sites along the cliff face. Phase two, which cost £1.4 million and will be completed by the end of February, involved providing structural fencing at the bottom of the cliff strong enough and high enough to catch the majority of any falling rocks. “We are delighted with the way the work has gone and the success of the project so far, the aim of which was to take a concentrated look at this vulnerable stretch of cliff and take proactive cost effective measures to manage and mitigate the risks presented by the cliffs, both preserving the cliff face and protecting the railway line below,” said Chris Arnold, Network Rail’s Scheme Project Manager. “This third phase will last about 15 months. As well as netting the cliff we are also carrying out some drainage work which will help prevent future slips.” -more- Cliffs - 2 Dean & Dyball’s Area Construction Manager for Network Rail, Andy Boakes-Stapleton, said: “Over a number of years the close working relationship which has developed with Network Rail has allowed many technical problems to be resolved with innovative solutions. With this in mind, we are extremely pleased that the project team from phase two will remain unchanged for this third phase of the works." The two phases to be so far completed have been a great success. The fencing installed during both phases have already helped prevent boulders reaching the line. One occasion, several two-tonne boulders were contained by the fence. Said Chris: “In the past 18 months there have been some 24 landslips of varying degrees of seriousness, ranging from 1 or 2 tones of material to 300 tonnes on each occasion. Our scheme will help cut that number and at the same time the netting and fencing will help contain any moving material.” Also installed in the area is a high-tech weather station that logs data and transmits information directly to Network Rail’s Swindon control centre. If the amount of rainfall reaches a critical point extra inspections of the area and track and cliff will be ordered. Phase three does not mark the end of the project. Further work is likely to be carried out and feasibility studies for the type and extent of this are now being carried out. -more- PHOTOCALL … PHOTOCALL ... PHOTOCALL Date:   Thursday, March 11 2004 Time:   10.30am Place:   East Cliff car park, Teignmouth What:  Members of the press are invited to view the work being carried out in phase 3. Representatives of Network Rail and Dean & Dyball will be available for interview

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