THE NEXT phase of works to secure the resilience of the railway between Exeter and Newton Abbot in Devon will begin in Control Period 6 (2019-24), according to Rail Minister Jo Johnson.

In a formal response to the Peninsula Rail Task Force’s strategic blueprint for the South West region, Mr Johnson said Network Rail’s work is focusing on the three most urgent elements identified within its resilience study, using £15 million of allocated funding. These elements are the cliffs between Teignmouth station and Parsons Tunnel, which are at risk from landslip, the cliffs between Kennaway Tunnel and Parsons Tunnel, which are at risk from rock falls, and a section of the sea wall opposite Marine Parade at Dawlish where there is little protection for the railway from large waves. The latter location is where the railway was severed during storms in February 2014.

Mr Johnson said contracts will be awarded in the spring to undertake ground investigations, option selection and outline design for all three areas, with these elements expected to be complete in 2019. The development work also includes the preparation of the Transport and Works Act application needed for the work on the Teignmouth cliffs.