08 December 2016

Dawlish Investment (sort of)

Catching up with a few stories from a few weeks ago…

The government has today (17 November 2016) confirmed an additional £10 million to help strengthen the resilience of the railway line from Exeter to Newton Abbot via Dawlish. The funding comes as Network Rail publish a report which sets out their proposals for strengthening the route, which was significantly damaged by extreme weather in the winter of 2014.

A section of the sea wall was washed away, leaving the tracks hanging in space, and there was also a major landslip on the cliffs at Teignmouth while the line was closed. The closure of the line was estimated to cost the South West economy more than £1 billion pounds.

The funding is for Network Rail to carry out further planning for how to keep the track better protected from extreme weather.

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.

In their report Network Rail identify 3 priority areas where action is needed to prevent the main Exeter to Plymouth railway line being blocked by further extreme weather. These are:

  • the risk of landslip from the steep cliffs between Teignmouth and Parson’s Tunnel which would block the main Exeter to Plymouth railway line
  • rock falls from the cliffs above the Parson’s Tunnel north entrance
  • flooding from the sea of the railway and the road at Marine Parade between Dawlish station and Kennaway Tunnel

The £10 million 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. 153372


  1. No news about an alternative rail route, if the Dawlish line is blocked?

    1. I wouldn't hold your breath for that!
      I really cant see any govt going for that any time soon. Even if the govt suddenly agreed to pay for a new route tomorrow, there would be years of arguing about it!

    2. None of the will ever happen!! Government making more promises they can't keep!!

  2. There is an article in this weeks "Rail", (Issue 815), regarding plans for a third track for Devon's sea wall.

  3. Usually, the government like to put rail operations out to contract, but in the case of Dawlish, they are literally looking at putting the tracks out to sea. Unsurprisingly, XC have decided to pull some of their Voyager services out of Devon from 2018. The very idea of salt water is enough to make a Voyager unit have a nervous breakdown

    1. The reason XC are removing some
      Paignton services is to provide a more frequent service to Exeter,with services becoming half hourly
      To Bristol and Birmingham, the current Manchester to Bristol Services extending to Exeter to providing additional seats between Birmingham and Exeter.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.


Have something interesting to say? Please share it here!

(Moderation is currently switched on so please allow a short while before your comment appears on the site. This is only to cut down on spam - not to cut out people who disagree with me!)