February 09, 2014

Severe weather cuts all rail links to southwest Britain

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The double-track line at Bridgewater is virtually submerged. The double-track line at Bridgewater is virtually submerged.

ALL three lines connecting London and Bristol with southwest England have now been severed by flooding and a landslide in addition to the track wash out at Dawlish between Exeter and Newton Abbot.

The Bristol – Taunton and London – Taunton main lines have both been flooded to the north and east of Taunton, while the London Waterloo – Exeter main line has suffered a landslide at Crewkerne between Yeovil and Exeter. Network Rail (NR) said it will take at least a week to repair the embankment at Crewkerne, but after further inspection this afternoon it allowed to trains to pass over the section of track at reduced speed. However, NR cannot predict when the flood waters will subside especially as more heavy rain is forecast.

NR says the flood water near Taunton is being blown into waves by the high winds in the area, which are washing away the ballast.

Meanwhile, NR said on February 8 work to repair the damaged sea wall at Dawlish is progressing well in six-hour shifts between high tides (see photo below). The damaged section of track has been removed and quick-drying cement was applied to secure the area.

Regional airline, Flybe, will double the frequency of its Newquay, Cornwall - London Gatwick air service to six flights per day on Mondays to Fridays starting on February 12, with some additional flights at weekends.


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