Plans to create a rockfall shelter over the railway line between Dawlish and Holcombe have been approved by Teignbridge District Council.
Network Rail hopes to be able to start the work in August 2021. The rockfall shelter will be 209m long and will help trains on the line to run safely by preventing rocks from falling onto the track.
100 years ago, Parsons Tunnel was extended, and now Network Rail whats to make it longer with the rockfall shelter and build it with modern materials as well as build it with open sides to allow passengers to see out to the sea while travelling.
The project will cost £37.4m and will take up to a year to complete.
The team at Network Rail has been doing some preparation work at the top of the cliffs so that no rocks will fall while the work is going on, with close monitoring on the wildlife habitats, so they are not disrupted.
Chris Pearce, Network Rail’s Western route interim director, said: “We are pleased that Teignbridge District Council has approved this third section of the South West Rail Resilience Programme and thank members and officers for their thorough reviews of our plans.”
“The coastal location of the railway in South Devon is truly stunning, but it also presents its biggest challenge with the sea on one side and steep cliffs on the other.
“The existing rockfall shelter has proven its effectiveness for a century, and so this modern extended structure will protect the railway for generations to come alongside a section of cliff that is becoming increasingly hazardous from rock falls.”
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