EXCLUSIVE: Sea Wall extension plan to offer extra Dawlish resilience

The Sea Wall between Dawlish Warren and Teignmouth could be extended into the English Channel, with the railway re-aligned, if ambitious Network Rail plans are approved.

Speaking exclusively to RAIL, NR Director, Route Asset Management (Western) Mike Gallop said the biggest problem facing the wall comes from the adjacent cliffs, and that this project was the best solution to combating the problem.

By extending the sea wall, NR would create space whereby any cliff subsidence and collapse would not affect the railway.

“The options are going out onto the beach and moving the railway further away from the cliff. Sprey Point would be the edge of the wall and we could have rock armour, too,” Gallop told RAIL.

“The project is at GRIP 3 and that ends in June 2019. The plan is to go out to tender in 2019-20 and complete the main works by 2021. It is subject to a Transport and Works Act Order and CP6 funding.”

Gallop said that another affected area is between Kennaway Tunnel and Dawlish, and here NR plans to “effectively build a new wall. It will have a higher beach wall and a wave return. This will be modern engineering.”

A third element to the scheme is what NR calls Cliff Behavioural Unit 17. “It is Horse Cove, and that needs an avalanche shelter-style structure. There is substantial rock bolting and cliff stabilisation also needed here,” explained Gallop.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 09/05/2018 21:53

    What about building a brand new railway line away from the sea wall and a new railway station in Dawlish to be built on the new railway line once it’s built and the former railway line to become a public footpath for people to use aswell cyclists.

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    • Steve - 17/05/2018 07:41

      Compromise: Build the new line, single the old one from exminster to just before Newton Abbot carriage sidings (with a speed restriction for heavy axle loading trains) except for passing loops at teignmouth, dawlish, starcross and warren. At the same time re-open Newton Abbot to Heathfield and have a true park-and-ride service that caters for Newton Abbot, Seawall destinations, and possibly Exeter as well. That will be 350 million pounds please!

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