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Network Rail looks to protect Devon train line

Some of the damage caused by the storms in Dawlish last winter Credit: PA

Network Rail are expected to reveal their thoughts about how to improve the resilience of the train line around South Devon.

They've been asked to investigate a number of options following the devastation caused by the storms earlier in the year. It's not thought they'll go so far as to recommend any particular route or improvement strategy.

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.

Network Rail apologises over level crossing deaths

Network Rail has offered a "full and unreserved apology" to families bereaved by level crossing accidents.

In 2011 Jeanette Nicholls, died from multiple injuries after using a foot crossing in Long Rock in Cornwall. The crossing was later closed.

The apology came as an MPs' report strongly criticised Network Rail's handling of tragedies in the past. The Chief Executive, Mark Carne, says they will be focusing on the underlying causes of such incidents.


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.

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.

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