Passengers reminded to check before travelling ahead of £9.5 million investment to provide a more reliable railway through Devon and Dorset: Axe Valley Broom Ln-2

Wednesday 12 Sep 2018

Passengers reminded to check before travelling ahead of £9.5 million investment to provide a more reliable railway through Devon and Dorset


Rail passengers travelling through Devon and Dorset have been reminded to check their journeys before travelling from this weekend as Network Rail delivers a £9.5 million scheme to protect a flood-prone stretch of railway in the south west.

Two 40m long underground structures, each made up of fourteen individual 40-tonne culvert sections, will be installed on sites at Axe Farm and Broom Lane in the Axe Valley, reducing the likelihood of flooding from a one in five year risk to a one in twenty year risk*.

In order to complete this work, the line will be closed between Crewkerne and Exeter from Saturday 15 September until Sunday 23 September and a bus replacement service will be in operation. 

This nine-day programme of work will see the track removed and embankments excavated at both sites, with around 9,000 tonnes of earth set to be removed before the flood defences are installed.

More than 100 members of Network Rail’s ‘team orange’ will deliver the project, which began in May and is set for completion in December this year.

The work, being delivered in partnership with the Environment Agency, will not affect Great Western Railway services between Exmouth and Exeter / Paignton.

Details of the revised timetables and bus replacement services can be found on SWR’s website:

Rebecca Wells, senior project manager for Network Rail, said:

“I’d like to thank passengers in advance for their patience as we undertake this vital flood resilience work in the Axe Valley as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.

“Flooding can be devastating for local communities and it’s crucial we do all we can to protect the railway and keep the train service moving.

“This £9.5 million investment will significantly reduce the risk of the line flooding in the area and provide a better, more reliable railway for passengers and the local community for many years to come.”

A South Western Railway spokesperson said:

“We would like to apologise for customers for any inconvenience caused by Network Rail’s engineering works. The work will, however, make the West of England line more resilient to adverse weather, reducing the risk of disruption caused by heavy rainfall.”


Notes to editors:

*according to Environment Agency flood risk modelling.

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - Wessex route
Media Relations Manager- Wessex
Network Rail
07730 353042

About Network Rail

We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

Follow us on Twitter: @networkrail
Visit our online newsroom: