Major improvements at Dawlish to reduce sea wall disruption

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Network Rail has spent months compiling a detailed report on the options for the future of the famous sea wall railway at Dawlish, and has now submitted a planning application for a package of works to improve the resilience of the line.

The Branch Line Society operated its ‘Looe Brush’ railtour from Bristol Temple Meads to Looe and Moorswater in Cornwall on February 3. SAM SMITH

NR’s proposal has been developed in partnership with global engineering consultancy Arup, and calls for a new, higher sea wall at Dawlish, designed to protect the railway and the town from high waves and stormy seas for generations to come. 

The Department for Transport has said up to £80million funding will be made available for the project. 


The new design increases the height of the wall by 2.5 metres – to 7.5m – and adds a curved ‘wave return’ to the top, intended to send water back towards the sea rather than onto the railway as at present.

This should prevent stormy conditions from washing away the railway – an increasingly frequent occurrence, and something which could increase with climate change. 

Read more in the March 2019 issue of The RM – on sale now!


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About the Author

Nigel Devereux

Railway Production Editor at Mortons Media Group Ltd.
Nigel Devereux is a Senior Lecturer in the School of English and Journalism. He has worked within the print publishing industry for 37 years. Nigel was editor of his hometown newspaper - The Horncastle News - from 1998-2001. Nigel is currently the senior sub-editor on The Railway Magazine, the UK’s biggest selling magazine for railway enthusiasts. He is also responsible for maintaining and updating several websites across the Mortons portfolio.
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