Government confirms £10m funding for rail resilience in South West England

18 November 2016  •  Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review

The UK government has confirmed that it is to provide an additional £10 million funding for Network Rail’s proposed rail resilience scheme on the line between Exeter and Newton Abbot.

Government confirms £10m funding for rail resilience in South West England

Dawlish winter 2014 (Credit: Network Rail)

The rail resilience funding announcement comes as Network Rail presents their proposals for strengthening the route, which was significantly damaged by extreme weather in the winter of 2014 when a section of sea wall was washed away at Dawlish and a major landslip occurred at Teignmouth. The closure of the line is estimated to have cost the South West economy more than £1 billion.

Funding will aid further rail resilience research

The funds will enable Network Rail to undertake further research into protecting the stretch of railway beyond the current round of funding, which was due to end in 2017.

“It is vital that we do all we can to prepare our transport system for extreme weather”

Commenting on the next round of funding, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “It is vital that we do all we can to prepare our transport system for extreme weather.

“Never has the impact of nature been better demonstrated than at Dawlish and it is important that we make our railways strong enough to weather any storm. The further funding we have today announced will help to make sure that this vital link remains open.”

Network Rail’s managing director for the Western Route, Mark Langman, added: “Keeping the south west connected to the rest of the country by rail is vital to the economy of the region.

“We very much welcome the additional £10 million in funds announced today to help us build on the work we’ve already done to prevent this crucial line being blocked in the case of extreme weather.”

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