Railway reopens between Axminster and Crewkerne as Network Rail completes installation of flood resilience.(Network Rail)

Broom South side (002) Broom North side (002) Axe North side LE side view (002)

Broom -south; Broom-north; Axe-north.(Network Rail Images)

The railway between Axminster and Crewkerne reopened as planned on Sunday (23rd September) morning following a nine-day closure, during which Network Rail successfully installed two 550-tonne underground culverts to improve resilience of the railway through Devon.

The structures were installed on sites at Axe Farm and Broom Lane in the Axe Valley as part of a £9.5 million investment to reduce the likelihood of flooding from a one in five year risk to a one in twenty year risk, according to the Environment Agency’s flood risk modelling.

More than 100 members of Network Rail’s ‘team orange’ workforce worked around the clock to complete the installation on schedule, as part of the ongoing Railway Upgrade Plan.

To install these structures, the railway embankments on both sites were excavated, removing around 9,000 tonnes of soil before the culvert sections were installed with a 300-tonne crane.

Preparatory work on the scheme began in May, with the work set to be fully-completed in December this year.

Rebecca Wells, senior project manager for Network Rail, said:

“I’d like to give thanks to passengers and the local community for their patience over the last nine days as we worked around the clock to complete the installations as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.

“The new flood resilience measures will mean we can provide a better, more reliable railway for passengers travelling through the south west.”

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