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Rail services resume after flooding

The West Country is no longer cut off by rail after services that were suspended following the severe storms resumed.

Passengers had been unable to travel on a train beyond Bristol because of a landslip and flooding in Somerset.

Rail users were already facing delays because of the collapse of an 80-metre stretch of the sea wall at Dawlish in Devon, which meant that services could not reach Cornwall and were instead terminating at Exeter.

Network Rail said that an inspection of the landslip near Crewkerne, which connects Yeovil to Exeter, revealed it is safe to run trains at a reduced speed.

"This has allowed a limited service to begin between Exeter and Waterloo this Sunday afternoon, with the first train departing Exeter at 12.25pm," a Network Rail spokesman said.

"Work is progressing to get diverted trains from the Westbury/Paddington line moving over the Yeovil route as soon as possible."

Elsewhere in Somerset, the routes from Bridgwater and Castle Cary are still under water caused by the flooded River Parrett and are being monitored by Network Rail engineers.

Meanwhile, work to protect the damaged sea wall site in Dawlish from the sea is going well in between high tides.

Engineering work to repair the sea wall at Dawlish is expected to take at least six weeks and in the meantime passengers have been offered more flights and coach services as an alternative.

"A row of shipping containers is being put in place and filled with rubble to provide a breakwater, while concrete spraying has continued, in order to protect the vulnerable sub-soil," the spokesman said.

"Passengers intending to travel on routes through the Thames Valley tomorrow morning are advised to check before they travel, as flood warnings are in place for the region."


From Belfast Telegraph