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Top 10 photos: Storm damage to Dawlish train line as major incident declared

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: February 05, 2014

  • Dawlish flood damage

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THESE pictures shows the extent of the severe damage the massive storm caused in Dawlish.

Dawlish rail line was effectively washed away by huge waves and the station was badly damaged on Wednesday morning.

The picturesque line, which is prone to flood damage, is likely to be closed for some time.

Houses were also evacuated in Dawlish while the rail and tracks were being washed away.

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Devon and Cornwall Police declared a “major incident” in the town.

Thirty metres of sea wall under the railway at Dawlish Station and iron railing were also washed away, according to Network Rail.

The station platform has also lost some of its coping stones.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue dealt with 27 incidents overnight on Tuesday, including rescuing two people stuck in floodwater in Dawlish.

About 20 people had to spend the night at Dawlish Leisure Centre.

Councillor Kevin Lake, who was at the leisure centre, said Teignbridge District Council took over the running of the evacuation on Wednesday morning from Devon County Council.

He said: “They’ve been looked after well and have been fed and watered. A separate space was set up as sleeping quarters and another for them to sit.

“There was a swift response as the council works closely with the Environment Agency.

“To us safety is paramount and we have our surveyors looking at all the buildings affected. Our officers will now be arranging emergency accommodation for those evacuated and where there has been structural damage to their property.”

Sainsbury’s supermarket donated food for those at the centre.

Rob Moranzoni, grocery manager at Sainsbury’s Dawlish, said: “We are keen to respond to issues in the local community.

“A lot of my colleagues know people affected.

“We’ve supplied kettles, toasters and food to make life more bearable.”

Network Rail have estimated around 80m of both tracks at Dawlish have been severely damaged by the sea, washing away ballast and the foundations on which the track is built.

There is also severe damage to the track and platforms at Dawlish station.

Its engineers are on site at a number of locations in the south west of England and are making repairs while the line between Exeter and Plymouth will remain closed until further notice owing to the damage at Dawlish.

An initial assessment of the damage at Dawlish will be carried out as soon as the weather subsides to help Network Rail identify the extent and scope of repairs required to enable trains to run safely.

Passengers are advised to check with their train operator or National Rail Enquiries for the latest information on how the weather is impacting on journeys before setting off.

Full updates as we have them

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  • iscashe  |  February 08 2014, 7:38PM

    Can't believe that they didn't do coastal protection years ago after being warned, e.g. after Sidmouth beach was washed away and they put the stone breakers in place, the same procedure at Dawlish would have saved the seafront. But then again, knowing the railway was built on sand it had to happen just like Hallsands? Would an engineer build a railway by the sea today? No way! Why can't they extend the land like they did at Exmouth where the level esplanade is reclaimed from the sea?

    |   1
  • electrician22  |  February 05 2014, 5:22PM

    The whole of the South West is now cut off from the country's rail network and will be for some months I suspect. There is no alternative route thanks to Dr Beeching. This is where rail investment is needed! Not on getting a few businessmen to Birmingham 20 minutes quicker.

    |   24
  • Southernman  |  February 05 2014, 11:35AM

    How long before they realise that they will have to re-open the Southern route.

    |   17
  • Devonfarmer  |  February 05 2014, 10:13AM

    I GIVE UP!!!! Can you believe the stupidity of the people in pictures 5, 6 and 7 above? What makes it worse is that they seem to be a tv crew, who surely have a responsibility to project safe practice in such conditions. Best wishes & keep safe to the Dawlish residents.

    |   13