Following the latest severe storms last weekend, Network Rail has updated its estimate of the time it will take to restore the railway at Dawlish. It has now advised that the railway will be repaired by mid-April and that it will be working night and day with dedicated resources to accelerate this programme.
Last weekend’s storm caused extensive, further damage, increasing the scope of the repairs. However, the first defences installed reduced the potential impact and helped prevent further damage to the houses.
Patrick Hallgate, route managing director, Network Rail Western said: “We are all conscious of the importance of this railway to the South West, its economy and the people of Dawlish. They have been tremendous in supporting our team and understanding of the challenges we face. We are confident that we will have the railway back by mid-April and if we can we will beat that date.”
Mark Hopwood, managing director First Great Western welcomes Network Rail’s commitment to reopen the line through Dawlish by mid April, he said: “This will allow us to restore through train services linking London and Exeter with Torbay, Plymouth and Cornwall. We appreciate Network Rail’s efforts to work round the clock to get the line reopen so we can resume services for customers as soon as possible.
“Until the line reopens we are running train services between Exeter and London and between Newton Abbot and Penzance with bus services linking these to keep our passengers moving.
“We will be ready to run services once Network Rail completes the work and until then we will do everything we can to minimise disruption to our customers’ journeys.”