Latest Rail News

19.03.14

Army help with controlled landslip at Dawlish

The army has been called in to help reinstate the Great Western Main Line through Dawlish after nearly 30,000 tonnes of unstable rock and soil was removed as part of a controlled landslip.

Network Rail has stated that it was unable to work below the area close to Teignmouth Road, Dawlish, because of the risk of rock and soil collapsing.

Julian Burnell, of Network Rail, said: “The Army have been offering us advice since the start of the problem and they have a very small team of one or two officers in place helping us.

“We are hoping they will be able to use specialised equipment protected by armour, to remove the rock face and soil. Another option we are looking at is dropping water from a helicopter to help control the landslip.”

Network Rail has hopes that the Royal Engineers will be able to use specialist equipment to remove part of the rock face so the line can be reinstated and that it will still be reopened on 4 April.

However, despite the falling rock problems, all railway sleepers on the Great Western Main Line have been completely renewed and the ballast beneath them has been tamped.

In addition, the rail operators’ engineers have almost completed the installation of pre-cast concrete 'L' sections at the main breach site and concrete has been poured for the new parapets between Dawlish Warren and the main site. The repairs at Dawlish station are also nearing completion with a new canopy and lights fitted to platform 1 with platform 2 nearly complete.

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