Network Rail publish study of options for providing a resilient rail route west of Exeter

After the winter storms which led to the collapse of the rail line at Dawlish, the Government is considering five options for building a “resilient rail route” in the far South West. A report, produced by Network Rail, was published on Tuesday outlining ways to make a major upgrade of the Great Western network in Devon.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said it was “imperative” the report will lead to “improvements to the resilience of the railways in the South West that ensure there is no repeat of the disruption we saw earlier this year”.

The options are:
  1. The “base case” - which is the status quo
  2. Strengthening the existing railway
  3. Alternative route “A” - the former London & South Western Railway route from Exeter to Plymouth via Okehampton
  4. Alternative route “B” - constructing a modern double track railway on the alignment of the former Teign Valley branch line from Exeter to Newton Abbot
  5. Alternative route “C” - five alternative direct routes would provide a new line between Exeter and Newton Abbot
Download the full press release and report.

CIRIA have been active in this area for a number of years, including collaborative work to develop guidance on Flood resilience and resistance for critical infrastructure (C688, 2010) and Transport infrastructure drainage: condition appraisal and remedial treatment (C714, 2014), as well as being part of an Arup-led consortium for the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB)-funded project Tomorrow’s Railway and Climate Change Adaptation with Met Office, Transport Research Laboratory, JBA Consulting, University of Birmingham, UCL, British Geological Survey, Beckford Associates and John Dora Consulting.

Through its client knowledge-sharing groups, the National Infrastructure Client Leadership Group and the Geotechnical Asset Owners Forum (GAOF), CIRIA are consulting on the development of a proposal for new guidance on Infrastructure recovery following flooding as well as a potential update to the existing C688 report. Join CIRIA on 18 September 2014 for the Infrastructure risk and resilience to natural hazards conference for an update.