Battered Dawlish rail line to get higher wall

Dawlish rail line after sea damage Image copyright PA
Image caption The sea wall at Dawlish collapsed during storms, leaving the railway lines dangling above the waves

A coastal railway line that washed into the sea five years ago may soon be protected from the wind and waves by a new wall.

The sea defences in Dawlish, Devon, collapsed during storms on 4 February 2014, leaving the tracks dangling above the waves.

Network Rail has applied for permission to raise the wall from its current height of 5m to 7.5m.

The plans will need to be approved by Teignbridge council and the government.

Network Rail said the wall would give "far more protection from waves and extreme weather" and claimed it is "future-proofed" against rising sea levels.

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Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption Network Rail has released renderings of what the new wall would look like

The Dawlish line is an important part of the infrastructure connecting Devon and Cornwall to the rest of the country.

Tudor Evans, Labour leader of the Plymouth City Council, said while the announcement of the plans being submitted was "welcome", his council also wants a "firm funding commitment" for other rail improvement projects in the area.

Engineering contractor Arup was involved in drawing up the plans for the new wall, but the potential cost has not yet been revealed by Network Rail.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The tracks at Dawlish are regularly damaged by flooding.

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