Latest Rail News

05.02.14

Track washed away by storm at Dawlish

Severe weather is affecting the south west of England today, as storm-force winds have critically damaged the railway at Dawlish.

The line between Exeter and Penzance is currently shut after storms, heavy seas and flooding damaged the track in several places. Around 80m of track at Dawlish has had its ballast washed away and is effectively suspended in mid-air, and platforms at Dawlish station are also severely damaged.

Network Rail engineers are making repairs where weather conditions permit, and it is hoped that some services will resume between Plymouth and Penzance today.

Winds of over 60mph have been forecast, with South West Trains preparing to run a reduced service on some routes. Tree removal teams are on standby at key locations across the network as the weather is expected to worsen today.

A spokesperson for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance said: “The continued heavy rain and flooding in the south west has put increased pressure on our rail network. The recent forecasts, which have come on top of the wettest January for a century, present an increased risk of further flooding, landslips and falling trees.

“Our experiences show that the best way to deal with the extreme weather and to avoid more serious disruption is to put an amended train service in place. The service changes will only impact the parts of our network that have been worse hit by the stormy weather since December. By running a reduced service we are minimising the risk of further damage being caused as well as lessening the potential for future disruption to our customers’ journeys.

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