Wednesday 12 Feb 2020
Significant step towards more resilient railway as new Dawlish sea wall takes shape despite challenging conditions caused by Storm Ciara
- Region & Route:
- Wales & Western: Western
Plans to protect the vital rail artery to the south west from rising sea levels and extreme weather have taken a significant step forward despite challenging storm conditions.
Network Rail are installing a bigger sea wall in Dawlish, Devon, to protect the coastal railway line, as well as the iconic footpath that runs beside it, from the sea and on 9 February the resilience work reached a significant milestone as the first new panels, which form the main structure of the wall, were erected despite Storm Ciara.
The new sea wall is part of a series of measures along the coast to protect the only railway line that connects 50 towns and cities in Devon and Cornwall with the rest of the country.
In total, over 100 panels will be installed at Dawlish over the coming weeks and residents, visitors and rail passengers can now start to see how the structure will look.
Once this phase of construction has been completed, Network Rail’s focus will turn to creating the wider, safer promenade which retains the views of the coast – a feature that the area is famous for.
David Lovell, senior programme manager for the South West Rail Resilience Programme said: “Despite challenging conditions, our team managed to get the first pre-cast wall panels in place last weekend.
“This is an important landmark in the Dawlish sea wall project, taking us one step further to protecting this iconic section of railway and the coastal footpath for generations to come.”
Once the work to install and back-fill the panels is complete, track drainage will be put in, before construction staff then turn their focus to the promenade, where lighting, seating and surfacing work will be carried out.
Work is scheduled to be completed before the peak summer season.
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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.
Usually, there are almost five 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.