WORK TO install a £9.5 million flood defence scheme to protect the railway line between Exeter and Salisbury began on 18 May.

Two 550-tonne underground bridge structures made of culvert sections will be installed underneath the railway line in the Axe valley on sites at Axe Farm and Broom Lane. This is expected to reduce the likelihood of flooding from a one in five-year risk, to a one in 20-year risk, based on Network Rail’s flood risk modelling.

The line between Axminster and Crewkerne has been prone to flooding in recent years, causing significant delays and disruption to passengers.

More than 100 members of Network Rail’s ‘team orange’ will be delivering the project, with work due to be completed in December. Over 9,000 tonnes of soil will be excavated to make room for the flood defence.