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Dawlish disrupted for 40 days per year by 2040?

FGW 43132 heads for Dawlish on April 4 2014. RICHARD CLINNICK.

Rail services on the Dawlish to Teignmouth section of the main line through Devon could be disrupted for more than 10% of each year by 2040 and for almost a third by 2100, according to a new study focusing on the effect of sea level rises.

Sea-level rise impacts on transport infrastructure: The notorious case of the coastal railway line at Dawlish, England says that the costs of maintaining tracks and sea defences could also soar as predicted sea level rises, coastal storms and floods “pose major challenges for rail operators and governments”.

Although the study focuses on the vulnerable stretch of line in Devon, which closed for two months in early 2014 following a series of coastal storms, authors David Dawson, Jon Shaw and W. Roland Gehrels argue that there could be similar implications for other routes in Wales, southeast England, the Cumbrian Coast and Scotland.

It shows that since completion of the Great Western Railway in 1846, sea levels have risen by 20cm in the English Channel, and that most of that has occurred in the past 40 years with a direct correlation between recent sea level rises and disruptions to the railway. 

  • For much more on this, read RAIL 791, published today.

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  • Graham Barber - 06/01/2016 16:21

    You might think from the tone of this , that it is THE ONLY line to suffer with disruption. The East AND the West coast main line suffer with plenty of disruption, be it flooding or wires down. Some days of the year BOTH lines are shut and Scotland has NO rail service to England !!!!!!

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  • philip c shellard - 06/01/2016 21:54

    Your article says it all, what a complete and utter nonsense our railways are in. Our Goverments seem to think that outside the South East railways either run thereselves or do not need investment, you know and I know that like our friends in the North vital investment is required for trains, new / reopened rail routes and infrastructure. I live close to Newton Abbot and the predictions of see level rises and storms will affect me along with thousands of others, we need a diversion route to serve South Devon / Cornwall sooner than later. If the country can afford HS2 it can well afford to improve more of the rail network with the apparent funds to hand, the whole matter is a complete nonsense. Whilst on this matter how many more years before we see the Portishead to Bristol reopening, its only 3 yes 3 miles to reinstall to the Portbury line. Please no more pulling wool over the eyes of us poor mortals in the South West, we need more than a lick of dark green paint on an old HST to convince us that GWR means what it would like you to beleive.i

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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 08/01/2016 01:14

    Still 2040 is still a long way off. That's 24 years ahead.

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