Following on from announcement of £80M in funding for resilience improvements to the rail route through Dawlish in Devon, Network Rail has announced a number of public information sessions about the project.
Sessions in Plymouth, Penzance and Truro next week will be followed by further community engagement events in Dawlish, Holcombe and Teignmouth later this year to explain the work expected to be delivered under the funding.
The funding was secured following the formation of the South West Rail Resilience Programme after storm damage to the sea wall and rail line in 2014 closed the rail line for six weeks and triggered a 20,000t landslide between Dawlish and Teignmouth.
Network Rail has said that protecting the route through Dawlish in Devon is a national priority and world-leading engineers in coastal, tunnel, cliff and railway engineering have been researching longer-term options to improve its resilience to extreme weather events, future climate change and coastal erosion.
At the drop-in events representatives from Network Rail will provide an update on the ongoing work to repair breakwaters at Dawlish, as well as details of the recently submitted plans for an improved sea wall at Dawlish.
The events will also cover the extensive geological and marine studies that have been conducted along the railway line between Dawlish and Teignmouth, and which are being used to inform the options that will be presented to local communities and put forward to government for funding.
These longer-term options will be presented to the public, local councils, stakeholders and government later this year, once analysis of the engineering studies has been completed.
Network Rail western route managing director Mark Langman said: “Funded by £15M of government money, Network Rail has been working with world-leading engineers to identify and deliver the best options to improve the resilience of the main rail artery in and out of South Devon and Cornwall. There has been a great deal of progress including government funding for a new sea wall in Dawlish which was confirmed last month. We would like to take the opportunity to update communities and stakeholders on our progress.”