Government funding to increase the resilience of the main railway in the South West

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Further funding of £32million to add vital netting and fencing along the iconic but exposed coastal railway to South Devon and Cornwall via Dawlish was announced today (April 1) by the Minister of the Wendy Morton Railways, with the aim of protecting passengers and safeguarding network access for local residents,

This latest round of funding, which follows three previous phases of work and brings the total to over £150million, will prevent storm debris from reaching the railway, creating strong resilient transport links to region and providing passengers with safer and more reliable journeys.

Following the devastating storms of 2014, which damaged the railway line for eight weeks, the government intervened to prevent this from happening again by launching the South West Rail Resilience Program (SWRRP). The SWRRP is a £155million commitment to create a more resilient railway, protect the safety of passengers passing along the Dawlish Seawall and ensure that local communities in Devon and Cornwall are no longer at risk of being disconnected from the network for long periods. .

With this funding, the government successfully rebuilt the sea wall along the Marine Parade, added other cliff protection measures and implemented accessibility improvements.

Railway Minister Wendy Morton said: “Devon’s iconic seawall and the picturesque towns around it are jewels in Britain’s crown, and we are committed to protecting this vital line and the communities it serves. dessert.

“Through our wider investment of £155m, we are also working to boost connectivity and support the booming local economy and tourism.”

The new funding is part of the government’s £155million SWRRP investment to improve connections in the South West and provide reliable and punctual journeys across Devon and Cornwall, boosting the local economy and the tourism. This includes:

A comprehensive £53million upgrade to the train maintenance depot in Exeter, improving service reliability and capacity for passengers across the region.

£80m funding to deliver a new seawall at Dawlish, between the Colonnades Bridge and the Kennaway Tunnel, which opened in 2020 with the next phase of work to the east currently under construction.

Mike Gallop, Network Rail’s Western Route Director, said: “We are delighted to once again receive government support which allows us to carry out the next phase of our resilience work between Dawlish and Teignmouth.

“This means passengers using GWR and CrossCountry services on this vital rail link to and from the South West will have more reliable journeys as the railway along the Devon coast will be better protected against rising sea levels. the sea, extreme weather conditions, landslides and rockfalls for the next 100 years.

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