Friday 18 May 2018
Resilience work begins as Network Rail invests £9.5 million to provide a better railway for Devon passengers
Work to install a £9.5 million flood defence scheme to protect the railway line between Exeter and Salisbury began this morning.
Two 550-tonne underground bridge structures made of culvert sections (hollow concrete rectangular structures) will be installed underneath the railway line at Axe Valley on sites at Axe Farm and Broom Lane.
The installation of these structures will reduce the likelihood of flooding from a one in five year risk, to a one in twenty year risk, based on Network Rail’s flood risk modelling.
The line between Axminster and Crewkerne has been prone to flooding in recent years, causing significant delays and disruption to passengers.
Rebecca Wells, project manager for Network Rail, said:
“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, part of our Railway Upgrade Plan, will significantly reduce the risk of the line flooding in the Axe Valley, benefiting passengers and the local community for many years to come.”
More than 100 members of Network Rail’s ‘team orange’ will be delivering the project over the next seven months, with work due to be completed in December this year.
During these seven months, more than 9,000 tonnes of soil will be excavated from the site to make room for the flood defence.
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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.