Network Rail has announced it has made a planning submission to Teignbridge District Council to improve Dawlish sea wall.
Plans have been developed in partnership with contractors Arup for a new higher sea wall at Dawlish and is targeted at providing greater resilience for generations to come.
Since 2014, when storms washed the railway away, Network Rail has undertaken a range of studies to establish that maintaining the current railway route was the most feasible and cost effective solution.
These plans were shared with the local community in October when Network Rail outlined proposals for the three priority areas including a new, higher sea wall at Dawlish.
Work has also started in November to repair the breakwaters at Dawlish.
The new sea wall will provide more protection from waves and extreme weather and is future-proofed to protect the railway and the town, taking into account predicted rising sea levels.
What did the officials say?
Mark Langman, Network Rail’s Western route managing director, said:
“The Department for Transport and Network Rail have been working tirelessly to determine what needs to be done in order to protect this vital transport artery for Devon and Cornwall.
“From blank page studies that looked at all options we’ve identified this as the most feasible rail route for Devon and Cornwall and there are areas that specifically need our attention.
“Improving the resilience of the sea wall at Dawlish is one of the most immediate and easiest areas we can begin work on and we’ve now submitted detailed plans to Teignbridge District Council.
“These plans are now subject to the views of the council, their residents and a final decision from government.
“In parallel we continue to work on possible solutions at Holcombe and Parsons Tunnel and will be sharing these with the community later this year.
“Maintaining this vital rail link for Devon and Cornwall remains a high priority for us, as I know it is for government.”