Track and signalling

21.01.20

Network Rail unveil new Holcombe to Teignmouth rail protection plan

Updated proposals have been published by Network Rail, outlining a series of potential changes to a section of railway line in south Devon between Holcombe and Teignmouth.

The rail line, which provides a vital artery connecting Cornwall and Devon with the rest of the country, has needed better protection from cliff falls, land slips and damage caused by extreme weather.

With steep cliffs on one side and the sea on the other, the plans would look to protect the 1.8km stretch of railway, running between Parsons Tunnel and Teignmouth, by realigning it away from hazardous cliffs.

Views from local residents, communities, businesses and rail users from across the South West are now being sought as part of a second round of public consultation, which is running until March 1, 2020.

The results of this six-week consultation will help shape the final design of the scheme, and marks a second round of public involvement after earlier plans released back in July raised concerns.

The vulnerable section of railway was closed for six weeks in 2014 following a landslide, which saw the collapse of a large section of earth beneath the track.

As part of the updated plans, most of the beach is now set to be retained, along with improved leisure access and amenities, including new, fully accessible coastal walking routes.

It also allows for the rail route to be moved further away from the cliff face, allowing for protective measures to be implemented and protecting the route from rockfalls, landslips and damage caused by extreme weather.

Mike Gallop, route director for Network Rail’s Western route, said: “We have listened to feedback from the first round of consultation and our updated plans will ensure a resilient railway line for the whole south west while maintaining most of the beach and adding improved walking and leisure facilities.

"The railway is a vital artery to the South West, which communities, businesses and visitors to the region depend on for connecting with the rest of the UK. We welcome views on our updated proposals before we apply for consent to undertake the work.”

Residents are invited to provide feedback on the proposals to assist in finalising the designs. The detailed proposals are available online at: www.networkrail.co.uk/SouthWestRRP

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