Following the latest severe storms last weekend, Network Rail has updated its estimate of the time it will take to restore the railway at Dawlish.
It has now advised that the railway will be repaired by mid-April and that it will be working night and day with dedicated resources to accelerate the programme.
Last weekend's storm caused extensive, further damage, increasing the scope of the repairs. However, the first defences installed reduced the potential impact and helped prevent further damage to the houses.
We are all conscious of the importance of this railway to the South West, its economy and the people of Dawlish. They have been tremendous in supporting our team and understanding of the challenges we face. We are confident that we will have the railway back by mid-April and if we can we will beat that date."
– Patrick Hallgate, Route Managing Director, Network Rail Western
There's fresh doubt tonight over repairs to the rail line at Dawlish. Network Rail says it can no longer confirm the line will reopen by March the 18th because much more damage was done to the stretch of track on Friday.
During the storms, the shipping containers being used as a breakwater after the original destruction were breached.
Last week the Transport Secretary said the repairs were on course to be completed in time for the crucial Easter break - tonight a new timetable isn't being confirmed.
Network rail have confirmed that work to rebuild the track at Dawlish has been delayed by at least a week because of Friday's storms. The work had been scheduled to take about 6 weeks, but at the weekend some of the shipping containers brought in to protect the front were damaged by the high seas.
Network Rail told ITV News that they were pouring concrete on Sunday night as part of the re-build plans, and that more concrete will be poured on Monday once the tide has gone out.