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Network Rail unveil plans to protect south west rail line

Network Rail unveil plans to protect south west rail line

Proposals have been outlined by Network Rail to protect a vital south west rail line.

A consultation has been opened for potential changes to a section of railway in Devon bordered by cliffs on one side and the sea on the other.

The consultation on the south west rail line has been opened because this vital route requires greater protection from the dangers associated with cliff falls, land slips and damage caused by the sea during extreme weather.

And now, Network Rail is offering businesses and other interested stakeholders to shape the final design of the scheme.

Extreme weather has previously meant that the 1.8km stretch of railway between Parsons Tunnel, near Holcombe, and Teignmouth, has had to be closed; a landslide in 2014 resulted in a closure lasting almost two months, and therefore this route needs to be protected from the likes of cliff falls and land slips.

Because of the huge threat posed by the cliffs in this location, proposals include moving the south west rail line route away from the sections of cliffs that pose the greatest threat.

Some land reclamation will be required to allow a sloping rock structure to be built that will stabilise the cliffs and protect the railway.

In order to protect the realigned railway from the sea, a rock revetment or enhanced sea wall will also be required to absorb the energy of the waves, whilst allowing for the railway to be relocated in a position away from the cliffs.

Mark Langman, route managing director for Network Rail’s Western route, explained the importance of the route.

He said: “The railway is a vital artery to the South West, which communities, businesses and visitors to the region depend on for connecting with the rest of the UK so we really want to hear views on our updated proposals to allow us to refine them further before we apply for consent to undertake the work.”

It is another example of the work undertaken by Network Rail.

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