NETWORK Rail is sending out engineers to assess damage to the railway as flood water has started to recede at Bridgwater.

The majority of the 2000 yards of track, embankment and signalling equipment at Bridgwater is now dry enough to allowing engineers access to remove all the debris from the track.

But the firm says to determine the extent of damage and scope of repair required, a thorough technical assessment needs to be carried out before repairs are made.

Patrick Hallgate, route managing director for Network Rail Western, said: “We are determined to do everything we can to get passengers on the move again.

"We got into action as soon as the water receded sufficiently, but careful examinations by our engineers remain vital as the infrastructure has been submerged for a long time.

"While assessing the damage, we will also be reviewing a temporary signalling solution that could enable some trains to operate, which will significantly reduce disruption to passengers.”

Debris such as logs, plants and mud needs to be cleared from the tracks, which may need to be re-aligned. The ballast may also need removing, cleaning and replacing. The embankments will also be checked as these may have eroded due to the flow of water.

The railway between Taunton and Bridgwater currently remains closed until further notice.

Passengers travelling through Bridgwater are advised to check with National Rail Enquiries or their train operating companies for information on alternative services.