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  April 2014
  Rain Replacement
Dawlish Train Track Washed Away
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx As an island nation Britain expects to be bashed by storms during the winter months.    However this year due to exceptional meteorological circumstances, the south coast in particular suffered a conveyor belt of bad news from early December to mid February.   The culmination of weeks of rain and wind saw a section of track at Dawlish in Devon washed away, resulting in colossal disruption to the only train route to the South West of England.   Although several operators have services that run through Dawlish, First were the ones to organise the rail replacement activities.   The scale of the task was compounded by flooding near Bridgwater which also required alternative provision.   It was expected that the track would be repaired in six weeks during which time passengers had to endure an intricate network of substitute coaches.
Bristol Parkway

Bristol Parkway
  • CJ Down Y3CJD heading for Plymouth
  • GPO Travel, Lancashire YKZ9956 arriving from Exeter St Davids
  • A Williams coach unloading from Plymouth

Rail Replacement Services
  • Bristol Parkway - Plymouth
  • Bristol Parkway - Exeter St Davids
  • Bristol Temple Meads - Taunton
  • Taunton - Bridgwater
  • Tiverton Parkway - Plymouth
  • Exeter St Davids - Newton Abbot /Totnes via Dawlish
  • Exeter St Davids - Newton Abbot (direct)
  • Exter St Davids - Plymouth


  • First Cymru 23313 (YN54NYU) on service to Bridgwater
  • Glenvic N656EWJ about to leave for Bristol Temple Meads
  • The rail replacement services carried passengers for both First and Cross Country rail services.  Travellers from South West Trains in Exeter also could use them.


Tiverton Parkway

Tiverton Parkway
  • KTL RJI88581J on service to Plymouth
  • Tempo Travel LIB8920 on service to Plymouth


Exeter St Davids

Exeter St Davids
  • A line-up of coaches at the goods yard
  • Darley Ford RAZ8723J on service to Plymouth
  • A2B W308SBC on service to Newton Abbot and Totnes
  • Taw & Torridge 895FXA on service to Bristol Parkway
  • First provided additional accommodation for passengers as the stances nearest the station are used for local stage services


  • The station was out-of-bounds while the construction crews repaired the sea defences that had been washed away
  • Even the beach was closed
  • First provided plenty of signage to help intending passengers
  • No trains today

Dawlish Rail Replacement
  • Tally Ho MLZ2392 bound for Newton Abbot
  • First Devon and Cornwall 69227 (MX56AEU) heading for Exeter

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xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx All photos taken on Saturday 22nd February 2014.   Click to enlarge.




xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Like the above ?
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Photo-Transport has been publishing themed articles about Public Transport for over 10 years.

If you enjoyed the above article you may be interested in these articles which were first published in February 2004 and October 2011.

  Town in focus: Exeter
Exeter buses past and present
Bridging The Gap
Reading Rail Replacement




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