1. ITV Report

Network Rail says Dawlish routes will be ready mid-April

More than 5,000 tonnes of concrete has been poured into the hole in the mainline at Dawlish. Photo: ITV News West Country

Network Rail has revealed the full extent of the damage to the main line around Dawlish and why it won't reopen until mid April.

As well as the now famous 100m hole in the sea wall there, almost four miles of track has actually been affected.

Down the line from Dawlish there have been thirty two separate landslips, half a mile of parapets that keep the ballast on the line have been destroyed, and 13 miles worth of cabling needs to be replaced.

Damage includes:-

  • 3.7 mile section of damage between Dawlish Warren and Teignmouth.
  • Parapet wall damage between Dawlish Warren and Dawlish main breach.
  • Issues to the line and cliffs further south of main breach at Smugglers Lane between Kennaway Tunnel and Teignmouth.
  • Another 256m of main sea wall was either missing to cracking and voiding.
  • 525m of Parapet walls affected which keeps the ballast on the tracks.
  • 32 locations of landslips along this same three mile section.

Network Rail says the main line will be open by Mid April in time for Easter assuming there is no more extreme weather.

Staff are working 24 hours and are now on schedule for the completion date.

200 workers are on day shift and 100 workers are on night shift, which means 300 workers across a 24 hour period.

5,000 tonnes of concrete has been poured into the main breach site. 150 tonnes of steel and 120 metres of large concrete walls have been installed. They are renewing 13 miles of cables and 200 metres of track also needs to be installed.

Roads also need to be rebuilt and a pedestrian walkway of three miles needs to be reinstated.

Network Rail workers are repairing a large section of broken parapets and sea wall close to Smugglers Lane. Credit: ITV News West Country

Network Rail workers are repairing a large section of broken parapets and sea wall close to Smugglers Lane.

The scale of the damage here has been overshadowed by the 100 metre hole at Dawlish but Network Rail says this is just as significant.

32 landslips have also affected the mainline. Credit: ITV News West Country

Our reporter Seth Conway has been to see the work being carried out:-

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