Track and signalling

09.06.20

Network Rail installs new flood barrier north of Exeter

Network Rail have fitted a new flood defence barrier to protect passenger journeys from being disrupted by flooding to the north of Exeter.

The barrier, which was installed at the end of May, is part of £26.5m programme to lessen the reoccurring disruption to long distance and local (Tarka Line) rail services, between the city of Exeter and the town of Barnstaple that is frequently caused by flooding of the River Exe around the Cowley Bridge Junction area.

The new metal flood defence can quickly be assembled across the railway when bad weather is forecast and stops the flow of the flood water. When not in use, the barrier remains largely hidden, which means the local landscape remains largely unaffected.

The first development of this project was the installation of large flood rains in 2018, which allow water to drain underneath the railway and safely away from the railway.

 Cowley Bridge - Flood Defence Up

Network Rail’s Route Director for the Western route, Mike Gallop, said: “We are delighted to be further improving the reliability of journeys for passengers travelling to and from the south west.  While we can’t control the weather, we can put in place measures that will help protect the railway from flooding and services not running. The area north of Exeter regularly floods and stops rail services running between Devon, Cornwall and the rest of the country.

“It’s vital for passengers, businesses and the regional economy that we prevent this from happening. The new flood barrier is one of the latest measures we’ve put in place, working with the Environment Agency, to reduce this from happening last year. In February this year, we experienced an extreme amount of wet weather and we were able to see that these measures are already starting to help.”

 Images: Network Rail 

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