Work to safeguard vital railway ‘artery’ to the South West moves to next phase this summer: Exe2NA drone investigation work 180712

Thursday 12 Jul 2018

Work to safeguard vital railway ‘artery’ to the South West moves to next phase this summer

  • Detailed studies are nearing completion and design of possible solutions set to commence
  • Community engagement to start in autumn

Detailed studies along the railway line between Teignmouth and Dawlish in Devon are nearing completion as Network Rail works to safeguard this vital railway artery to the South West.

These studies will then inform the detailed design of projects to make the railway between Teignmouth and Dawlish resilient to extreme weather. In the autumn, Network Rail will be able to show the local community how the designs will influence our future decisions on how we protect the railway line and coastline.

With funding from Department for Transport, world-leading engineers in coastal, tunnel, cliff and railway engineering have been carrying out detailed ground investigation to understand what is happening to the cliffs and coastline in three key areas around Dawlish and Teignmouth:

  • The railway between Parsons Tunnel and Teignmouth where there was a landslip on the cliffs in 2014.
  • The sea wall at Dawlish which collapsed in 2014.
  • The cliffs between Kennaway and Parsons Tunnels which are unstable

Once this investigation work is completed, Network Rail will analyse the results which will then feed into the detailed options for discussion with the local community, local council and Department for Transport. These discussions will commence in autumn this year, prior to any decisions being formally submitted to government. Community engagement events will be held in the following locations:                                                                                                                                                                                               

  • Dawlish Warren
  • Plymouth
  • Torquay
  • Truro
  • Penzance
  • Teignmouth
  • Exeter

Rail minister Jo Johnson said: “We are investing in the biggest modernisation of the Great Western Railway since Brunel built it more than one hundred and fifty years ago, giving passengers what they want: faster, more frequent and more comfortable services.

“But it is vital we find a permanent solution to the problems at Dawlish because it is a crucial link for the people and the economy of the South West.

“With funding from government, world-leading engineers have been carrying out detailed ground investigation to understand what is happening to the cliffs and coastline in three key areas around Dawlish and Teignmouth. These comprehensive studies are nearing completion, enabling Network Rail to show later this year how they will take the next steps to protect the railway line and coastline.”

Mike Gallop, director of route asset management for Network Rail said: “The section of the railway is vital for many residents and communities in Devon and Cornwall; safeguarding it for future generations remains one of our top priorities.

“Some of the world’s best engineers are out on site as we gather as much information on the three key sites we have identified to help us start to work up possible solutions for us to present to the local community, local councils and government.

We are acutely mindful of the need to take into account the views of the local community, the long-term needs of the environment as well as the need to provide a sustainable railway for Devon and Cornwall”

Once the peak tourism season is over further information will be provided to the local community about our upcoming events. Details will be available via a dedicated webpage and our social media channels in due course.

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 -Western route
07730 354394

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: