Fire crews create artificial landslide at Dawlish

Fire crews have been called in to create an artificial landslide near Dawlish. The coast there is unstable after the storms, and dangerous for rail workers. Network Rail says the main between Dawlish and Teignmouth line will re-open on 4 April.

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Fire crews called in to create landslide at Dawlish

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.

Controlled landslip above railway line

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.

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Workers time-lapse video of Dawlish

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 welcomes Dawlish rail repairs

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.

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Dawlish rail line re-opening welcomed

"It's excellent news that the train line is to re-open by April 4. Transport links to Devon are crucial for our visitor economy and having the line open by Easter will be a huge boost to consumer confidence, helping to kickstart tourism in the region

– Carolyn Custerson, chairman of Visit Devon and chief executive of English Riviera

Dawlish rail line will re-open on 4th April

Dawlish line will re-open on 4th April Credit: ITV News West Country

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.

Dawlish on track for 17th April

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.

Work is underway at Dawlish to repair the damaged track. Credit: ITV News West Country
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