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Storm damage and flooding

Our engineers worked round the clock to keep the railway running

Waters recede at Fordgate   


Travel information

Get the latest information on services at National Rail Enquiries.



The Great Western Main Line through Dawlish was re-opened on Friday 4 April 2014, almost two weeks ahead of our mid-April estimate.

Dawlish - updates, pictures and video

Exeter to Newton Abbot

Following a long history of damage along the coast line between Exeter and Newton Abbot and the severe damaged that occurred during the winter of 2014, Network Rail have commission an engineering study to look at the long term resilience of this stretch of railway line. The Study commenced in January 2015 and will be complete in April 2016.

Exeter to Newton Abbot leaflet 
Exeter to Newton Abbot advert 


Work to rebuild the railway at one of the worst landslips ever seen on the network in Botley took place with over two kilometers of access road built.

Tunbridge Wells - Hastings

After weeks of round-the-clock work, we re-opened the railway between Battle and Robertsbridge, allowing trains to run on the full length of the route for the first time in around two months.

Three serious landslips in late March and early February caused considerable disruption to passengers’ journeys as trains could not safely run over the damaged railway.

We had hoped to fully re-open the route in early March, but the Whatlington slip moved again, despite considerable work having taken place to fix it. Our engineers worked 24 hours a day to repair the damage.

Maidenhead - Twyford (Flooding at Waltham)

Main line services are operating normally through Maidenhead on the Great Western main line with local services returning to a normal timetable.

Midland Main Line (Sheffield - Chesterfield)

Following the landslip blocking the line at Unstone near Chesterfield, our initial estimates indicated that train services would be disrupted for four to six weeks. However work on site has progressed better than expected and the line reopened ahead of schedule.

Work to fully stabilise the hillside will continue for several months and so trains will run at a reduced speed past the site. This will not significantly affect journey times.

Somerset Levels

The railway between Taunton and Bridgwater reopened on 10 March 2014 and a near normal service reintroduced over affected areas.

Cutting edge technology - our New Measurement Train

Video of high tide flooding the tracks at Bridgewater (YouTube).


The Cambrian Coast line between Barmouth and Harlech is reopen following a £10m programme to repair severe damage to the rail infrastructure and sea defences caused by the winter storms.  Delivered two weeks ahead of schedule the work involved removing 40 tonnes of debris and reinstating 6,000 pieces of 'rock armour' that form the sea defences. 

We also laid more than 1,000 sleepers, 2,500 tonnes of ballast and 1,400 metres of track.

Photo gallery

12 March: trackbed unsupported by ballast which is slipping down the embankment at Whatlington on the Hastings-Tonbridge line.

12 March: Whatlington landslip on the Hastings-Tonbridge line

12 March: saturated land and sheet piles near Whatlington landslip on the Hastings-Tonbridge line

5 March: a signal equipment cabinet reappears at Fordgate

5 March: receding water at Fordgate reveals the overturned trough carrying signal cables


Botley: Supporting 100m wall of sheet piles being sunk and tied together with steel rods

Botley: piling underway to support the new embankment

Botley: the unstable ground is dug out to be replaced with new material

Landslip at Botley (Hampshire)


Stonegate landslip site (28 February 2014)

Repairs to the landslip at Stonegate well on the way (25 February 2014)

Landslip at Stonegate

Debris emerging as floodwaters subside at Fordgate near Bridgwater (24 February 2014)

Flooding at Fordgate near Bridgwater (19 February 2014)


Aerial view of the hillside slip at Unstone

Aerial view showing the breached sea defences and collapsed train line at Dawlish

The scrapped rails and the first spray of concrete to shore up the bank at Dawlish

Working to repair the Cambrian Coast line

Working to repair the Cambrian Coast line


Water covering the railway at Bridgwater

Flooding at Fordgate near Bridgwater - the railway is in the centre of the photo (12 February 2014)

Flooding at Fordgate near Bridgwater showing higher water levels (16 February 2014)

Flooded signal at Fordgate near Bridgwater (16 February). The water is about 2 feet above the railway, barely visible to the right of the signal, and the surrounding fields are around 10 feet under water

Water closes the railway at Datchet


Flooding at Datchet

Flooding in Maidenhead

Flooded signal equipment at Maidenhead

Aerial view at Athelney with the railway and level crossing still just clear of the water


Last updated 14 December 2015

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