The infamous stretch of the Great Western Railway line near Dawlish “may be moved out to sea” say Network Rail.
The design in question would require some land reclamation and a sloping rock structure to stabilise the cliffs and protect the railway; the sea cliffs have been prone to collapse in the past. The Government has been under increasing pressure to find a solution since the line collapsed and was washed into the sea during storms in February 2014. Rough weather forces the line to be closed as waves crash into the sea wall, cutting Devon and Cornwall off from the rest of the country by rail.
Network Rail said: “To protect the realigned railway from the sea, a rock revetment or enhanced sea wall will also be required to absorb the energy of the waves and allow for the railway to be relocated away from the cliffs.
The proposals would also include enhanced leisure access, cycling and walking routes and new amenity areas so that “users of Holcombe beach continue to enjoy the space and views of the Devon coastline”.