Network Rail submits plans for rockfall shelter extension in Devon

26 February 2021 (Last Updated February 26th, 2021 12:00)

The UK’s Network Rail has presented its plans to Teignbridge District Council to install a 209m-long rockfall shelter at Parsons Tunnel North along the railway line between Holcombe and Dawlish.

Network Rail submits plans for rockfall shelter extension in Devon
The new rockfall shelter’s design will be open-sided and constructed out of pre-made concrete wall panels. Credit: Network Rail.

The UK’s Network Rail has presented its plans to Teignbridge District Council to install a 209m-long rockfall shelter at Parsons Tunnel North along the railway line between Holcombe and Dawlish.

The extension of the existing rockfall shelter will protect trains against falling rocks along this rail line section.

Network Rail stated that the construction work is expected to begin in August if the proposals are approved, subject to funding confirmation from the government.

The work is expected to be finished in 12 months.

The plans have been submitted for ‘prior approval’ under Network Rail’s permitted development rights, allowing Teignbridge District Council to officially consult the local community on the projected designs.

The preparatory work is scheduled to commence on 22 March.

This construction work for this rockfall shelter will come under the third phase of Network Rail’s South West Rail Resilience Programme.

The new rockfall shelter’s design will be open-sided and constructed out of pre-made concrete wall panels.

The beams on the room will be shielded by a cushioning material, which will absorb the impact of any rockfalls.

The project will also prioritise environmental protection.

Network Rail South West Rail Resilience Programme senior programme manager Ewen Morrison said: “The coastal location of the railway in South Devon is truly stunning but it also presents its biggest challenge with the sea on one side and steep cliffs on the other.

“The existing rockfall shelter has proven its effectiveness for a century and so this modern extended structure will protect the railway for generations to come alongside a section of cliff that is becoming increasingly hazardous from rock falls.”