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.
The new wall will cost £80million and be delivered in two phases. The first phase, which runs for approximately 400m from Colonnade underpass, west of Dawlish station, to Boat Cove has now been built, ensuring that this section of railway is more resilient for future generations. Installation of fencing, lighting, seating and cosmetic work will be carried out throughout the summer and will be completed later in 2020.
Our plans for section two, which runs for 415m between Coastguards and Colonnade breakwaters, have now been approved. We hope to start work later in 2020 and construction will take around two years to complete.
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.