Following the recent announcement by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to make £80m available to increase the height of the sea wall at Dawlish, a series of drop in sessions are being made available.

Network Rail has announced the drop in-sessions, which will be available in both Torquay and Exeter, to update the local communities about the ongoing works

The works are set to improve the resilience of the stretch of railway that connects the South West with the rest of the country by rail.

The Drop in Sessions

The drop in sessions will be held on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 27th February 2019 at the Mercure Rougemont Hotel, Exeter, EX4 3SP from 3pm – 6pm
  • Thursday 28th February 2019 at the Grant Hotel, Torquay, TQ2 6NT from 3pm – 6pm.

Learning from 2014

In 2014, the collapse of the sea wall at Dawlish meant that trains could not run between Dawlish and Teignmouth essentially cutting off the South West from the rest of the UK.

Online it started the #OpenforBusiness campaign which saw businesses and the community shouting from the roof tops, that despite being cut off, the South West was still very much open for business.

Recently, bad weather causes the line to be closed on a ad hoc basis for the safety and wellbeing of passengers and crew members a like.

The 2014 event lead to the formation of the South West Rail Resilience Programme, the goal of the programme is to avoid a repeat of the 2014 event as well as ensuring this vital rail artery remains open for the long term.

Dawlish wall height proposals with promenade

World Leading

To ensure Network Rail get it right, they have the worlds leading engineers in coastal, tunnel, cliff and railway engineering looking and researching solutions for the long term.

Ensuring the railways resilience against extreme weather events as well as future climate change.

During the drop events, representatives from Network Rail will provide an update on the ongoing work to repair the breakwaters at Dawlish as well as details of the recently submitted plans for an improved sea wall at Dawlish.

The events will also focus on the geological and marine studies that have been conducted along the railway line between Dawlish and Teignmouth.

These studies are being used to inform and present the local community with the options that are available and put forward for government funding.

Mark Langham, Managing Director of Network Rail’s Western Route said:

Funded by £15m of government money, Network Rail has been working with world-leading engineers to identify and deliver the best options to improve the resilience of the main rail artery in and out of South Devon and Cornwall.  There has been a great deal of progress including government funding for a new sea wall in Dawlish which was confirmed last week. We would like to take the opportunity to update communities and stakeholders on our progress.

If you are unable to attend the drop in session but would like further information you can contact the national helpline on 03457 11 41 41 or following @SouthWestRRP on twitter and Facebook.

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