Dawlish railway line repair put back to mid-April, but will it reopen in time for Easter?

This is The West Country: Dawlish railway line repair put back to April Dawlish railway line repair put back to April

Repair work on the storm damaged railway line at Dawlish is now expected to take until mid-April, raising fears that any further setbacks woudl see it out of action over the vital Easter tourist period.

The road adjacent to the railway and several houses have also been damaged, as has Dawlish station and several other sites in the area.

Network Rail say that staff will be working round the clock with dedicated resources day and night to accelerate the programe of repairs, however they anticipate the railway will be restored by mid-April, longer than the six weeks initally thought.

The temporary sea wall at Dawlish was swamped by massive seas again on Friday last week which battered and damaged the 10-tonne shipping containers forming the temporary sea wall.

Further sections of the old sea wall were destroyed - the breach is 30 per cent bigger - as well as a lesser secondary breach closer to Dawlish Warren.

A concrete foundation is being laid in the main breach as well as the secondary breach at Dawlish Warren.

Repairs have started to the station platform, and more debris is being cleared along the costal route.

Until the line reopens train services are running between Exeter and London, and between Newton Abbot and Penzance with bus services linking these.

Andrew George MP spoke to Patrick Hallgate, Mark Hopwood, rail Minister Stephen Hammond MP and others this afternoon to seek an update on progress at Dawlish and on the longer term solutions to achieve resilience on the line.

Mr George said: "In spite of the impact of the Valentine Day storm, I'm encouraged to hear about the progress which Network Rail has made. Providing no similar storms interrupt progress I feel reassured that the full Penzance to Paddington service will be up and running again before the Easter period.

"This is good news and I congratulate all of those involved"."In spite of the impact of the Valentine Day storm, I'm encouraged to hear about the progress which Network Rail has made. Providing no similar storms interrupt progress I feel reassured that the full Penzance to Paddington service will be up and running again before the Easter period.

"This is good news and I congratulate all of those involved".

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