The Dawlish railway tracks which were damaged by storms in February officially reopened on Friday 4 April.
The line, which provided transport links between Exeter St David’s and Penzance, was forced to close after storms hit the South West on 5 February 2014.
In early February, Exeposé reported that the line had closed after severe storms damaged railway tracks. A section of the sea wall was torn down by gale-force winds and huge waves. Reparations were disrupted by further bad weather on 14 February. However, the line was completed earlier than anticipated despite the delays.
Nicknamed “The Orange Army”, Network Rail led the build, which cost £35m. On Friday, the first passenger train to cross the newly-repaired track left was the 05:34 from Exeter to Paignton.
Prime Minister David Cameron was present in Dawlish on the day the line was reopened. He praised the “Herculean effort” of the workers, who laboured day and night to create new foundations for the track, where 10,000 tonnes of concrete and 150 tonnes of steel were used. He described the reopening as a “great day”, signalling the South West “back open for business”.
The closure of the track severely affected jobs and businesses, resulting in a decrease in Easter bookings, costing the county more than £30m.
Rachel Gelormini, Online News Editorbookmark me