- West Country
- 10 updates
Fire crews are helping pump seawater onto the cliff at Dawlish to bring down 350,000 thousand tonnes of potentially unstable rock and earth. Network Rail says the operation should prevent a potentially "catastrophic" collapse that poses a risk to workers.
The recent storms caused more than thirty landslips along the coast.
Network Rail is under pressure to finish the Dawlish repairs by the target date of 4 April 2014. The video above shows the fire crews' work in progress.
A controlled landslip of 350,000 tonnes of potentially unstable soil and rock is to take place above the main line railway between Teignmouth and Dawlish.
Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service is working with Network Rail contractors and their geologist to pump water from the sea into the fracture line 50 metres up the cliff face above the landslip site.
Plymouth City Council leader Tudor Evans has again put pressure on the government to improve the South West's rail links.
It comes after Devon and Cornwall were cut off after the tracks were damaged by storms at Dawlish.
Mr Evans has written to the Prime Minister asking for a new faster line for the region.
A time-lapse video showing the work being carried out to repair the line at Dawlish has been released by Network Rail.
A section of the track was washed away last month after severe storms. But engineers have been been working round the clock and are now ahead of schedule.
The line is expected to reopen on the 4th April, almost two weeks earlier than expected. It's thought the damage has cost the region's economy as much as £20 million a day.
Local MP Anne Marie Morris,who's Newton Abbot constituency covers Dawlish, has welcomed the news that the rail line will re-open on 4th April almost two weeks earlier than originally forecast.
It's thought the damage has been costing the region's economy £20 million a day. However Network Rail engineers have been working round the clock to build a new seawall out of shipping containers and the revised opening date means the line will be open for the start of the school holidays.
Network Rail have announced the the Great Western main line through Dawlish will re-open on Friday 4th April. The line has been closed for repairs following last months storms.
They say that innovative approaches to sea defence and round-the-clock working by a team of more than 300 engineers have already seen huge amounts of rebuilding work completed along the damaged seafront.
The main 100m breach has been repaired with nearly 5,000 tonnes of concrete and 150 tonnes of steel, and a new 200m track is ready-built for installation.
Network Rail will tell rail operators that they can soon sell tickets for journeys through Dawlish from the 17th of April onwards.
It comes after yesterday's announcement that Network Rail is aiming to reopen the track ahead of schedule.
On ITV West Country Tonight we'll be showing you behind the scenes at Dawlish, at what's being described as Ground Zero.
Latest ITV News reports
As work takes place to repair the storm-damaged railway at Dawlish, residents are calling for a wider sea wall to protect their homes
Network Rail says the track connecting Cornwall and much of Devon with the rest of the UK will be ready from 17th April, if not sooner