Cambrian Coast rail flood repairs at Barmouth and Pwllheli to take months
The Cambrian Coast railway line may not fully reopen for another four months as repairs after tidal storms continue, Network Rail says.
It is closed between Dovey Junction and Pwllheli in Gwynedd due to flood damage at Tywyn, Barmouth and Criccieth.
Engineers used a helicopter to conduct an aerial survey showing the line north from Barmouth to Pwllheli suffered the "most devastating damage".
The line south from Barmouth to Tywyn could be reopened by 10 February.
But the route onwards from Barmouth to Pwllheli will take longer to repair with engineers "working on a programme to re-open fully by mid-May 2014".
The sea wall was washed away by tidal flooding at Llanaber with 300 tonnes of ballast lost to the sea.
Last week, two trains marooned on the stretch of line had to be lifted onto lorries and taken by road to Chester for routine safety checks.
"Network Rail fully understands the social and economic role that the Cambrian Coast line plays in the communities along it," said Mark Langman, route managing director for Network Rail Wales.
"This has been an extremely challenging period, but the rebuilding operation is under way and our priority is to safely re-open the railway as soon as is possible."
The company said efforts to inspect the line and assess the damage had been initially hampered by continued severe weather and high tides.