Network Rail has said that Dawlish railway restoration work will be completed by mid-April as its resources are working night and day to accelerate the programme.

Engineers of Network Rail have laid concrete foundation into the main breach and the secondary breach at Dawlish Warren immediately after the storm on 14 February. They have also begun work on repairing the station platform and clearing more debris throughout the coastal route.

Around 15 steel containers have also been installed as temporary breakwater and a scaffold bridge was built to reconnect services and signalling equipment in an effort to protect the site.

Until the completion of railway restoration work, First Great Western will operate train services between London and Exeter, and between Newton Abbot and Penzance, with bus services to minimise disruption to its customers.

"We are all conscious of the importance of this railway to the South West."

Network Rail Western route managing director Patrick Hallgate said: "We are all conscious of the importance of this railway to the South West, its economy and the people of Dawlish.

"They have been tremendous in supporting our team and understanding of the challenges we face. We are confident that we will have the railway back by mid-April and if we can we will beat that date."

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By GlobalData

Network Rail has said that the refurbishment of the rail swing bridge in Selby is currently underway.Under the project, engineers will refurbish the structure itself and the hydraulics on the swing span.

Network Rail route managing director Phil Verster said: "We’re investing £8m on steelwork repairs, work to the hydraulics on the swing span, waybeam replacements and wholesale grit blasting and painting of the entire structure."

Image: Dawlish damage before the 14 February storms. Photo: courtesy of Network Rail.