Contractors World UK & Ireland Edition Vol 4 No 1 - page 17

Tuesday, 4 February
• Weather forecasts predict a major storm
off the coast of Devon and Cornwall.
Network Rail marine buoys predict
‘black’ storm conditions, with six-metre
waves. This is the first ‘black’ conditions
predicted since the system was installed
in 2007.
• The line through Dawlish is closed to trains
and staff withdrawn to safe locations.
• Serious overtopping by waves is reported
through the evening.
9pm onwards
• Damage reports received concerning
both the railway and the adjoining land.
• Inspections confirm extent of severe
Wednesday, 5 February
• Engineers on site at first light but unable
to inspect the line due to continuing
storm conditions. Teams of engineers,
contractors and suppliers mobilised and
head to Dawlish. Work begins on site
compound to store machinery to shore
up damage, including spray-concrete
meant it was then safe for staff to access
the site and begin removing debris. This
was then used to help build an access
ramp so machinery could be brought
onto site.
A concrete spraying machine,
that was previously used to refurbish
Whiteball tunnel, began work a few
days later to build up a layer of material
over the subsoil exposed by the wall col-
lapse. This is a temporary measure only
so is a sacrificial layer, to absorb some
of the impact of the next storm.
Work is ongoing to demolish the most
damaged platform at Dawlish station
itself, prior to rebuilding.
A full assessment of the repairs will
be done as soon as there is a break in
the weather.
This will enable a full engineering
report which can be used to revise the
timescale. Initial assessments are that it
will take at least six weeks to complete
from when work begins.
Network Rail has mobilised a range
of specialist contractors, engineers and
suppliers from across the country to help
with the work needed at Dawlish and
Page 17
Contractors World - UK & Ireland Vol 4 No 1
Property left on the edge as seawater breaches the
sea-defences, washes out the rail track and start to
erode the banking.
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