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PHOTOS: Storm Emma shuts chunk of main rail line

PHOTOS: Storm Emma shuts chunk of main rail line

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 1:03pm 2nd March 2018. (Updated at 9:12am 3rd March 2018)

A stretch of the main rail route between Cornwall and London remains closed, thanks to Storm Emma.

Network Rail says the route between Dawlish and Dawlish Warren was damaged on Friday morning.

Huge waves driven by strong winds pummelled the stretch which runs right alongside the sea.

Bosses say there has been no structural damage to the sea wall and the railway itself remains in tact.

Urgent work is now being carried out in a bid to get trains up and running again as soon as possible.


Network Rail spent £40 million to repair the damage caused by the storm at Dawlish back in 2014.

Then, part of the railway collapsed into the sea and tonnes of debris from the cliffs at Teignmouth fell onto the tracks.

The latest damage from Storm Emma comes as officials promise to deliver a 'modern railway' that is more resilient to extreme weather.


Dawlish station flooded by sea water during Storm Emma

In a statement on Friday, Network Rail said: "Following visual inspections this morning we can confirm that the railway between Dawlish and Dawlish Warren sustained damage last night as a result of Storm Emma.

"There is no structural damage to the sea wall, and the integrity of the railway itself has not been damaged, which is testimony to the quality of the strengthening works Network Rail delivered in 2014.

"However, 10-15m of fencing and associated coping stones has been damaged, some of which is now lying on the railway.

"This needs to be made safe and Herras temporary fencing put in place. A substantial amount of ballast has been washed across the track along a 150m length of railway.

"Network Rail Engineers are now working to remove and replace the ballast.


"Dawlish station itself has suffered minor damage, with wooden panels and handrails washed onto the track and a small section of the platform damaged.

"Network Rail is working to make the damage safe; clear up the station and cordon unsafe areas off in advance of station reopening".


Mark Langman, Network Rail Western route managing director, said: "Team Orange will be working round the clock to make the railway safe so that it can reopen.

"There will be no services on this line today and we will issue an update later today confirming when we expect to reopen this section of the railway.

"Currently reopening is anticipated to be within the next 24-36 hours".

On Saturday morning, the line at Dawlish was hit again and the tracks were flooded.

Network Rail Western said: "Line at Dawlish temporarily closed at 07.15 due to flooding caused by high tides.

"Currently unsafe to go on site. Once water receeds we will be back on site to reopen as quickly as possible".

Just before 8.30am they added: "Latest from Dawlish. We are now on site after the high Spring tides and are testing to make sure the line is safe to reopen. Will update again shortly".

You can check the latest information from Network Rail West to plan your journey here.

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