Axe Valley flood defence scheme means rail disruption

PUBLISHED: 07:01 31 August 2018

Axminster Railway Station. Picture: CHRIS CARSON

Axminster Railway Station. Picture: CHRIS CARSON

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Train travellers face delays as the £9million scheme is carried out to protect the line

A flood defence scheme is going ahead in the Axe Valley to protect  the railway line. Picture: SWRA flood defence scheme is going ahead in the Axe Valley to protect the railway line. Picture: SWR

Train travellers in East Devon face disruption after work begins on a £9mllion flood defence scheme in the Axe Valley.

Services between Crewkerne and Exeter will be affected from September 15 and November 10 as Network Rail carries out works to better protect the line.

Two 550-tonne underground culverts are being installed in the Axe Valley, reducing the likelihood of flooding from a one in five year risk, to a one in 20 year risk.

Between September 15 and 23, the line will be closed between Crewkerne and Exeter and a bus replacement service will be in operation.

There will also be some changes to services running between Sailsbury and Exeter St Davids between Monday, September 24, and Saturday, November 10.

The work, being delivered in partnership with the Environment Agency, will not affect Great Western Railway services between Exmouth and Exeter / Paignton.

Details of the revised timetables and bus replacement services can be found on SWR’s website: https://www.southwesternrailway.com/plan-my-journey/crewkerne-to-exeter-line-closure

A South Western Railway spokesperson said: “We would like to apologise for customers for any inconvenience caused by Network Rail’s engineering works. The work will, however, make the West of England line more resilient to adverse weather, reducing the risk of disruption caused by heavy rainfall.”

Rebecca Wells, project manager for Network Rail, said: “I’d like to thank passengers in advance for their patience as we undertake this vital flood resilience work in the Axe Valley.

“Flooding can be devastating for local communities and it’s crucial we do all we can to protect the railway and keep the train service moving.

“This £9.5 million investment, part of our Railway Upgrade Plan, will significantly reduce the risk of the line flooding in the area, benefiting passengers and the local community for many years to come.”

In addition to this work, Network Rail has scheduled essential maintenance on the Waterloo to Exeter line. These take place on:

On Sunday September 30- the lines between Honiton and Exeter will be closed all day.

On Sunday, October 7 - the lines between Salisbury and Yeovil Junction will be closed all day.

On Sunday, October 21- all lines in the Salisbury area will be closed until late afternoon.

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