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Ground engineering work completed on South West railway line

A railway line in Devon has reopened following a nine-day closure for the installation of underground culverts.

Network Rail has successfully installed two 550t underground culverts to improve resilience of the railway between Axminster and Crewkerne.

The structures were installed on sites at Axe Farm and Broom Lane in the Axe Valley as part of a £9.5M investment to reduce the likelihood of flooding from a one in five-year risk to a one in 20-year risk, according to the Environment Agency’s flood risk modelling.

To install these structures, the railway embankments on both sites were excavated, removing around 9,000tof soil before the culvert sections were installed with a 300t crane.

Preparatory work on the scheme began in May, with the work set to be fully-completed in December this year.

Network Rail senior project manager Rebecca Wells said: “I’d like to give thanks to passengers and the local community for their patience over the last nine days as we worked around the clock to complete the installations as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.

“The new flood resilience measures will mean we can provide a better, more reliable railway for passengers travelling through the south west.”

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