Dawlish railway track alternatives 'too expensive'

Dawlish The main line at Dawlish was severely damaged after a storm destroyed the sea wall in early February

Related Stories

Building an alternative to a major railway track destroyed in winter storms would be prohibitively expensive, the BBC understands.

The cost of alternatives to the coastal track at Dawlish in Devon are "eye-watering", said sources.

Network Rail is considering five options, including reinstating the Okehampton line.

The line, which links much of the South West with the rest of the UK, was destroyed by storms in February.

Map: Alternative routes west

Network Rail is preparing a government commissioned report into the inland alternatives.

BBC South West Political Correspondent Martyn Oates said: "It would appear to leave strengthening the existing line, a few feet from the sea at the bottom of the cliffs, as the only option.

"However, it's understood this itself has yet to be costed."

Network Rail said in a briefing to MPs in February that reinstating the Okehampton line would cost up to £700m.

Network Rail's options are:

  • Reinstate the Okehampton line (between Plymouth and Exeter, via Okehampton), which closed in 1967
  • Create a new line connecting existing freight lines from Alphington (near Exeter) and Heathfield (near Newton Abbot)
  • Three options between Newton Abbot and Exeter via Teignmouth (with new tunnels)

The briefing also suggested making the existing coastal railway "more resilient".

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Devon

Weather

Plymouth

Min. Night 14 °C

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.