The next phase of Network Rail’s multi-million pound project to safeguard the railway at Dawlish and Teignmouth began this week.
The work, to be carried out by contractors Dean and Dyball, is designed to protect the part of the rail line exposed to the risk of debris falling from the sea cliffs. It will include the installation of avalanche fencing and rock netting to stabilise the cliff face. A cess walkway will also be constructed.
The project will take almost a year to complete and cost around £1.4 million. It will be undertaken in a series of 26 night time possessions and during normal working hours when possible.
The railway line, renowned for its dramatic scenery, runs along the foot of the cliffs on the edge of the sea and forms a popular and vital transport link for thousands of tourists visiting the West Country each year. As part of its existing framework agreement for the maintenance of the Dawlish sea wall, Dean & Dyball maintains a day-to-day watching brief on the area for Network Rail.
Dean and Dyball’s Regional Director, Clive Thomas, said: “ We are extremely pleased to have been awarded this contract by Network Rail which, when complete, will help to reduce delays to trains and be good news for the travelling public. “
Sea Wall – 2
John Curley, Director of Network Rail’s Great Western Region, said: “This sea wall carries the most exposed railway line in England and requires a particularly thorough maintenance regime. But whatever the weather may hurl at the wall and the cliffs, we are firmly committed to keeping the main line open, safely and all year round.”
Last May engineers battled the seas to complete a £2.4 million project to strengthen the sea wall. Over 12,000m³ of concrete was poured into trenches at the base of the wall to stop the sea scouring beneath it. In June, drill rigs were suspended from the 85m high cliffs in further works to stabilise the rockface. Over 500 steel bars, varying in length between 2m and 10m, were inserted into the cliff to anchor it. 15m long drains were also built to remove ground water.