Network Rail Announces Emergency Funding to Protect Cambrian Line from Effects of Extreme Weather

Network Rail has announced an additional two million GBP (2.38m euros | 2.61m USD) in emergency funding to help protect a section of the Cambrian Line from future extreme weather events.

Damage caused to the Cambrian Line by winter storms.
Damage caused to the Cambrian Line by winter storms.

This news comes alongside the announcement that the line is set to reopen by early April, having been closed since February due to the effects of storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin.

These caused severe damage across Wales, including a half mile section of the railway track near Welshpool, which had 33 washouts that left gaping holes beneath the tracks.

To reduce the impact on passengers, the resilience work has been fast-tracked to take place alongside the storm repairs, while the railway is already closed.

Over the next few weeks, in addition to repairing damage from the washouts, engineers will install more than 5,000 tonnes of rock armour on the embankment.

This has been successfully deployed to combat flooding in other areas including the Conwy Valley and the Marches Lines. It acts as a barrier to stop the ballast from being washed away by reducing the speed of the water and restricting its flow, and enables lines to be reopened much more quickly after a flooding incident.

Other work being carried out over the next few weeks includes refurbishing culverts, renewing the tracks and planting additional hedgerows, which also helps protect the tracks from future flooding.

Bill Kelly, Wales and Borders Route Director, Network Rail said:

“Climate change is happening here and now so building a more resilient railway for Wales and Borders is a top priority.

“We know the Cambrian Line is a social and economic lifeline for the communities it serves. Building on our work to raise black bridge near Machynlleth and our £30m investment at Barmouth Viaduct - we're committed to protecting the future of this vital transport link.”

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