Network Rail has been tackling a huge landslip that threatened the Great Western main line near Teignmouth.
Engineers became aware on 4 March that about 20,000 tonnes of a cliff face near Teignmouth, had sheared away and slumped about 20m onto the toe of the railway, which sits at the bottom of the cliff at this point. With the help of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, engineers have been spraying thousands of litres of water every minute onto the slip to wash away the earth and to encourage the slip to complete its fall to the railway below.
Consultation with Cornwall’s china clay business has seen a new high pressure water cannon brought onto site that Network Rail said was proving very effective at turning the red earth of the slip into slurry, to run off into the sea. Specialist army equipment and excavators were also standing by.
Patrick Hallgate, Network Rail’s Western Route Director, said on 21 March: ‘With our work at Dawlish nearing completion ahead of schedule, the Teignmouth site has become the orange army’s new frontline. We have made good progress but the coming week will be critical if we are to meet our planned reopening date of 4 April.
Everyone is working flat-out and are determined to clear this new obstacle to enable us to reopen this vital route for the people of Devon and Cornwall.’
The main contractor at the Teignmouth site is AMCO.