Dawlish sea wall / GWR mainline collapses due to high seas

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Thin Layman
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Dawlish sea wall / GWR mainline collapses due to high seas

Postby Thin Layman » Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:29 am

Scary stuff, here (what the man is standing by is the only through rail route to Plymouth and Cornwall) -

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26044426

British politicians - act now: reopen the LSWR 'Withered Arm' from Exeter to Plymouth to protect against further weather-related disasters!
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Postby rue_d_etropal » Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:53 pm

There as another alternative route, the branch line that went further inland. The GWR used this as an alternative route. One problem with the ex Southern line is the junction north of Exeter which gets flooded quite often, and seems to be even more often these days. I only remember seeing flooded fields one year out of the 3 I was at uni there.
This is a classic problem of thinking short term and letting the accountants run things. You always need an alternative when things go wrong. It used to happen(and still does) in IT. They(and we) never learn.
Given the total disaster with dealing with the flooding in Somerset/Dorset I can't see this bunch sorting anything out. It actually make incompetents look professional.
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Postby Gerry Bullock » Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:15 pm

Unfortunately the alternative route having been closed by Beeching now presents this problem:

"Whatever the cause, our winters are clearly getting worse. Is having such an vulnerable stretch of track as part of the main UK trunk network really still tenable? An inland route would be the logical alternative – but re-opening the old Southern Railway route via Okehampton would be complicated;  the fatal error of Beeching’s cuts was not to ensure that old track-beds were preserved. Much of the original alignment has been built over (including the offices of West Devon Borough Council); some has become part of the national cycle network. A House of Commons enquiry in 2009 estimated that the cost of reopening the line would be around £100 million."
Taken from The Telegraph article 5-2-2014.
So little time, so many ideas!!!!! GerryB.
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Postby rue_d_etropal » Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:30 pm

Given how much the road building industry made out of the Beeching cuts, maybe they should pay. Also just because much of the alternative route has been built on, that should not stop those blockages being removed, starting with those council buildings as they should know better. Better rail links would bring a lot of money back into the region.
Simon Dawson
(Simon D.),
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Thin Layman
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Postby Thin Layman » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:07 am

I do see that reinstating the old GWR branches would be cheaper, but the romance of the Withered Arm is tempting (not for bureaucrats, obviously, who need stronger reasons)...

Given that it was reported over the weekend that the West Country had been 'cut off' from rail access as a consequence of the flooding around Taunton and Bridgewater and also a landslide at Crewkerne (on the eastern part of the old LSWR route), obviously the issues go further than simply putting back an old favourite.
Matt

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Postby Cross Kitter » Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:12 pm

The 'experts' claim that it is costing us £2million a day in lost revenue in Cornwall. I haven't noticed it in my pocket yet but then I never notice when they say the tourists bring so much money to the people of Cornwall. Never had any money off a tourist yet :cry:

If though, they are right, then it wouldn't take long to make it economic to construct a least a protective barrier along the Dawlish sea wall. The meteorologist that gave us a talk recently said they were committed to keeping the rail link open. He also said that they couldn't put an effective rock defence along the sea wall as the beach needed to be preserved :roll: . If there is no sea wall there will be no beach either!

Another solution that will be ignored probably would be to put wave generating machines out in the sea next to the sea wall especially if they use the ones that take the energy out of the waves. Maybe then they could electrify the line as well :D

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