Further disruption on the Devon railway which has been hit by landslides | So Good News


Further repair work is planned this weekend on a railway line in Devon which closed after a recent landslide.

Services on the West of England Line will terminate at Axminster in Devon on Saturday and Sunday. A shuttle train will run from Honiton to Exeter and a bus will transport passengers between the two trains.

Part of the line was closed on Monday as teams removed debris from tracks following a landslide near Honiton. Although services resumed on Tuesday, further disruption is now expected four days later.

Apart from the repair works, Network Rail Wessex route director Mark Killick said earlier this week that the landslide underlined the need for ongoing stabilization work.

In September, Network Rail engineers completed five days of work to protect the railway from landslides between Axminster and Pinhoe.

“We are delivering a scheme to stabilize the embankment, but that work is ongoing,” Killick said.

“We’ve done work right down the line to prevent this kind of thing, but there’s still work to be done.”

The section of line leading up to the Honiton Tunnel has what Network Rail describes as “complex geology and many natural springs” and has suffered landslides in recent years, including one which caused a train to derail in 2001.

Engineers are building two retaining walls, 32m and 16m long, to stop any landslides where the line passes through a deep cut in the ground leading up to the tunnel.

The cutting’s existing drainage systems have been improved while construction of a new system has begun. Together with the reinforcement of the cut, the improved drainage will make the line more resistant to extreme weather and large amounts of rainfall.

Network Rail said there was “ongoing earthworks” at Honiton to make embankments more resistant to heavy rainfall.

“Further work is planned this weekend and passengers are still being reminded to check before traveling on the South Western Railway and National Rail website,” a spokesperson said.

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