Exeter to Barnstaple line unlikely to reopen before New Year
Network Rail have released the following update on flooding and the affect on Western route rail services.
Exeter St. Davids to Tiverton Parkway:
Dams were installed at Cowley Bridge Junction as a pre-emptive measure against flooding of the River Exe.
Whilst flood water did affect the Up & Down Main lines and the single line Barnstaple branch, the water did not reach the relay room and other signalling equipment.
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Water levels have dropped, and the dams were removed by 5pm on Tuesday 25/12/12; this allowed Road Rail Vehicles to access the infrastructure.
Rectification work is progressing with the line expected to be ready for tamping by Friday 28/12/12 and for reopening on the morning of Saturday 29/12/12.
It was confirmed that there has been little effect on signalling, services will be signalled normally on resumption.
No flood risks have been predicted with rainfall off 6 to 16mm forecast with a low confidence forecast of 25 mm during Saturday 29/12/12 to Sunday 30/12/12.
Exeter St. Davids to Barnstaple:
No trains ran after pre-emptive
installation of dams at Cowley Bridge Junction to protect signalling equipment. Road transport is not available because of flooding on local roads.
A helicopter patrol has been carried out today, the output from which is to be reviewed. A detailed inspection will take place on Saturday 29/12/12. The line is unlikely to reopen before the New Year.
Plymouth to Penzance:
A 20 mph speed restriction was imposed on Down Main line between Saltash and St. Germans after reports of a landslip.
Liskeard to Looe:
The line, closed on 20/12/12, will remain so until after the Christmas shutdown. Train services have been cancelled. Inspection planned for Thursday 27/12/12.
Westerleigh Junction - Wootton Bassett West:
The Down Badminton line was blocked flooding at Chipping Sodbury, and the Up Badminton line subject to a 5 mph speed restriction. Linespeed was restored after examination at 5pm.
Cogload Junction to Castle Cary; Flooding blocked the Up Athelney line. The Down Athelney line opened at linespeed. Watchman on site. Services were diverted via Bristol Temple Meads.
An inspection, carried out yesterday at 4pm, found that water levels had receded to the foot of the rail and normal line speed was authorised.