Green light for £37m Dawlish train rockfall shelter

Aaron Morby 3 years ago
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Network Rail has got the planning go-ahead to extend an existing rockfall shelter over the coastal railway line between Dawlish and Holcombe in Devon.

Network Rail hopes its contractor, which has yet to be named, will begin construction work on the 209m long extension of the rockfall shelter north of Parsons Tunnel in August.

The Parsons Tunnel was previously extended 100 years ago, and Network Rail will extend that further by providing a rockfall shelter in modern materials, but with open sides rather than the brick built enclosed tunnel extension.

Once started, construction of the £37.4m project is expected to take around a year to complete.

Preparatory work at the top of the cliffs overlooking this stretch of railway began in March whereby Network Rail engineers started cutting back some of the vegetation.

This rockfall shelter is the third phase of the South West Rail Resilience Programme and follows the two sections of new sea wall in Dawlish built by BAM Nuttall.

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.

“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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