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Our engineers are hard at work in North Wales repairing extensive damage caused by Storm Gareth in March.
With the summer – and reopening of the Conwy Valley line – approaching, we look at how our teams respond to such incidents.
Working day and night
Floods, high winds and landslips can destroy railway infrastructure and block lines, so our teams repair damage and clear debris to ensure trains can continue to run.
Flood water especially can pose problems to the railway. Water blocking the lines, as well as debris, silt and mud making its way onto the track, are only part of it.
The lasting damage that flood water can cause to infrastructure can lead to ongoing repair work that takes days, weeks or even months.
Repairs to the Conwy Valley line in Wales are well underway. The line, which runs between Llandudno Junction and Blaenau Ffestiniog, closed on 16 March due significant flooding caused by Storm Gareth.
Since then, specialist engineers have developed a programme of work which will enable the line to reopen this summer.
So far, teams have been busy designing flood culverts, constructing embankments, removing washed out material and refurbishing level crossings, to safely restore the track.
The project so far – speed read
Infrastructure impacts of flooding
Gale force winds cause a real problem for the railway. This commonly comes in the form of debris blown onto the tracks, including trees or other forms of vegetation that delay trains while the line is cleared.
More seriously, trees that are blown down can hit overhead power lines, severing connections or in some cases knocking down masts entirely.
Responding to flood and storm damage can include:
Dawlish is a high-profile example of how we respond to flooding on the railway
Five years ago, a significant stretch of coastal railway collapsed into the sea after a storm destroyed 100 metres of sea wall.
The severe weather of February 2014 cut off the South West peninsular from the rest of the railway; the mainline that runs through Dawlish in Devon is the only line connecting most of the county and all of Cornwall to the rest of the network.
Fast-pace repairs by 300 Network Rail engineers meant the line at Dawlish reopened just eight weeks later. How did we do it? Innovation, a controlled landslip and more than 6,000 tonnes of concrete.
Find out more about how we responded to the substantial damage at Dawlish
The post Conwy Valley: repairing flood and storm damage to the railway appeared first on Network Rail.
This article first appeared on www.networkrail.co.uk
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