Storm-hit Dawlish rail line compensation payout revealed

Dawlish railway line Severe storms left the track at Dawlish hanging with part of the sea wall swept away

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Compensation of up to £16m will be paid to train and freight operators following the destruction of the main railway line at Dawlish in the south-west of England.

Network Rail said the money would be paid because services could not run through Dawlish in Devon due to the damage caused by storms.

The track, which reopened on 4 April, was damaged in early February.

Network Rail said the figure was based on an assessment of "lost revenue".

Dawlish The project to repair the line and sea wall cost £35m
David Cameron On 4 April, when the line reopened, Prime Minister David Cameron praised the "Herculean effort" of the "Orange Army" of workers

A spokesman from Network Rail, which runs and maintains Britain's rail infrastructure, said the total was between £15-16m.

He said: "Normally, train operators pay Network Rail for the right to use the track. If they can't do that we have to compensate them."

First Great Western said the final compensation figure was "under discussion".

Dawlish First Great Western said the compensation for Dawlish would cover the cost of the additional replacement buses and moving staff and trains to other locations

A spokesman said: "We recognise the figure and it is specific to Dawlish, but it is only one part of ongoing discussions with Network Rail.

"Discussions about compensation and additional costs to the business because of the closure of lines at Dawlish, Penzance, the Somerset Levels and Maidenhead are still ongoing and no decision has been made yet.

Dawlish line rebuild in numbers

  • 6,000 tonnes of concrete
  • 150 tonnes of steel
  • 25,000 tonnes of collapsed cliff removed at Teignmouth
  • Hundreds of tonnes of debris removed
  • 600m of parapet wall repaired
  • More than 13 miles of new cable installed
  • More than 700m of track and ballast replaced

Source: Network Rail

"We're working with other operators and Network Rail to understand the full costs."

First Great Western said the compensation for Dawlish would cover the additional replacement buses, and moving staff and trains to other locations following the disruption.

It added the money would also help pay for the 25% discount on tickets which was introduced for passengers intending to pass through Dawlish when the line was closed.

Last year, Network Rail announced it paid about £12.5m in compensation to train and freight operators after railway line flooding - described as the worst in a decade - closed the mainline near Exeter for 11 days in November and December 2012.

The figures, it said, could not be compared because Dawlish had been a "long-term issue" and compensation was subsequently calculated differently.

Cowley Bridge Junction Last year, Network Rail paid about £12.5m in compensation to train and freight operators after railway line flooding in Exeter

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