Engineers became aware on 4 March that about 20,000 tonnes of a cliff face near Teignmouth, had sheared away and slumped about 20m onto the toe of the railway, which sits at the bottom of the cliff at this point. With the help of Devon & Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, engineers have been spraying thousands of litres of water every minute onto the slip to wash away the earth and to encourage the slip to complete its fall to the railway below.
Recent consultations with Cornwall’s china clay business has seen a new high pressure water cannon brought onto site that is proving very effective at turning the red earth of the slip into slurry that’s running off into the sea at a tremendous rate. Specialist army equipment and excavators may also be brought in to assist once more of the unsafe slip has been washed away.
Patrick Hallgate, Network Rail's Western Route Director, explained: "With our work at Dawlish nearing completion ahead of schedule, the Teignmouth site has become the orange army’s new frontline We have made good progress but the coming week will be critical if we are to meet our planned reopening date of 4 April. Everyone is working flat-out and are determined to clear this new obstacle to enable us to reopen this vital route for the people of Devon and Cornwall.”
Notes to editors
Superb moving images are available on the following link taken from a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) courtesy of Aerial Technics:
· Teignmouth landslip drone footage - http://youtu.be/IW2B8pv0rKg
· Dawlish sea wall drone footage - http://youtu.be/6IIiED7SMF0
The moving land mass is near Woodland Avenue in Teignmouth and during this saturation process, exclusion zones are in place for safety. The natural cliff material will be deposited on to the beach area with the assistance from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and the Environment Agency.
Fixed wing aircraft are also being used to take LiDAR (laser scanning – like radar but with lasers) readings of the site in order to measure the changing condition of the slip slope.
The main contractor at the Teignmouth site is AMCO.