We are protecting the railway line for passengers and the people of Dawlish

In June 2019 work began on a new, larger sea wall that will protect the railway and the town for the next 100 years.

Train running along the Dawlish sea wall

The new wall will cost £80million and be delivered in two phases. The first phase, which runs from Colonnade underpass, west of Dawlish station to Boat Cove an area approximately 400m, will take nine months and will be complete in early 2020.

Phase two, which runs from Dawlish station to Coastguards Breakwater which is also around 400m, is still being developed. We expect to share more information on this in summer 2020.

Work dates for phase one

Saturday 1 June – Sunday 14 July 2019

  • Site preparation and mobilisation work
  • Installation of pipes for pumping concrete
  • Noise, vibration, track and structural monitoring
  • Preparing the current sea wall
  • Movement of beach material to aid work
  • Construction of concrete foundation
  • Installation of vertical anchors

September 2019 – Spring/Summer 2020

  • Surfacing work​
  • Lighting and seating installation
  • Site clearance and demobilisation
  • Excavation of new foundations
  • Demolition of existing promenade sections
  • Installation of pre-cast concrete units
  • Concrete work
  • Installation of the vertical anchors
  • Installation of the pre-cast concrete panels
  • Concrete work
  • Installation of the track drainage

How did we get here?

In February 2014, a devastating storm struck Dawlish leaving just a swing bridge of rails behind, severing the whole of the South West peninsula off from the rest of the UK and costing millions of pounds to put right.

Remarkably 300 Network Rail staff and contractors managed to restore the rail link in just eight weeks by repairing the sea wall and replacing the track and foundations with 6,000 tonnes of concrete and 150 tonnes of steel.

Five years on since we reopened Dawlish

Download our FAQs

Frequently asked questions
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2020 newsletters

Newsletter – June 2020
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Newsletter – April 2020
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2019 newsletters

Newsletter – December 2019
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Newsletter – November 2019
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Newsletter – October 2019
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Newsletter – July 2019
589 KB
Newsletter – 24 June 2019
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Newsletter – 10 June 2019
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Newsletter – May 2019
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Contact us

Visit our contact us page, call our 24-hour national helpline on 03457 11 41 41 or you can contact us on Twitter at @SouthWestRRP