Government announce £10M funding to help railway line from Exeter to Newton Abbot become more resilient.
Additional funding of £10M has today been confirmed by the government, which will strengthen the resilience of the line from Exeter to Newton Abbot via Dawlish, following significant damage in 2014.
The funding will be used by Network rail, to establish ways to protect the track from becoming damaged by extreme weather.
Severe storms in the winter of 2014 led to a section of the sea wall being washing away, leaving tracks hanging in space, and there was also a major landslip on the cliffs on Teignmouth while the line was closed. The closure of the line was estimated to cost the South West economy more than £1Bn.
Network Rail have published a report, which sets out their proposals for strengthening the route. The report identifies three priority areas where action is needed to prevent the main Exeter to Plymouth railway line being blocked by further extreme weather.
The three areas where action is needed to prevent the main Exeter to Plymouth railway line being blocked further are the steep cliffs between Teignmouth and Parson’s Tunnel, the cliffs above the Parson’s Tunnel north entrance and the railway and the road at Marine Parade between Dawlish station and Kennaway Tunnel.
The funding will allow Network Rail to continue their development work on mitigation against these risks from 2017, when the current funding comes to an end.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “It is vital that we do all we can to prepare our transport system for extreme weather.
“Never has the impact of nature been better demonstrated than at Dawlish and it is important that we make our railways strong enough to weather any storm. The further funding we have today announced will help to make sure that this vital link remains open.”
Mark Langman, Network Rail’s managing director for the Western route said: “Keeping the South West connected to the rest of the country by rail is vital to the economy of the region.
“We very much welcome the additional £10 million in funds announced today to help us build on the work we’ve already done to prevent this crucial line being blocked in the case of extreme weather.”
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