Dawlish Sea Wall (Section Two) Proposals Unveiled by Network Rail.

fgwrich

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As revealed by Network Rail today. This section covers the area from Coastguards to Colonnade breakwaters and includes the station area. Whilst I like the idea of the bridge, I cannot say that I'm a fan of it to be honest, with the rather bulky concrete "promenade" sweeping up the underside of the station, and the now standard and rather ugly new compliant footbridge completely breaking the character of the station.

Edit. The more I look at it, the less I like it. The footbridge has the appearance as if it's landed straight from a 1960s council estate again, the era of Concrete Brutalism. I also wonder how effective the lifts will be after a drenching in a storm, and why does the footbridge have to be an open design - That'll be useless in stormy weather.

 
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30907

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Given that Dawlish station, unusually for the area, seems to be a concrete construction, a concrete lift tower isn't totally out of place (though they could have done slightly better IMO).
 
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Crumbs - this looks like the German fortifications on Guernsey or the Normandy beaches. The station is Grade II listed - only the 1950s canopies are of 'concrete construction' - I predict this will get rejected at planning.
 

Devonian

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Crumbs - this looks like the German fortifications on Guernsey or the Normandy beaches
My thoughts precisely - at least those sea walls have proved to be extremely durable!

The existing station is a mixture of render, stucco and granite facing. The new footbridge will offer a distinct contrast, and blend better with the new wall than the station. It does seem a little strange, when such care was taken in 2013 to build a fibre-reinforced polymer replica of the Dawlish's traditional covered bridge (which will remain open), to add such a discordant structure now - but I suspect the need for long-term strength and low maintenance trumps aesthetics here.
 

Revilo

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I have a number of concerns with this:

1. Hidden as the last item on the consultation is demolition of the Coastguard’s Boathouse, said to have been designed by Brunel. Though not listed, it is a positive building in the Conservation Area (though listed status did not stop NR getting permission to demolish the signal box).

2. I think the footbridge is massive, and over-engineered. There is already step-free access to the Exeter-bound platform. Surely there’s a easier way of accessing the Teignmouth-bound platform. Or it has to be accepted that the station just can’t be 100% step free.

3. In time there’s a risk the original footbridge will be closed and removed, as at St Austell. Network Rail have tried and so far failed to replace the footbridge at St Erth though.
 

HowardGWR

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Crumbs - this looks like the German fortifications on Guernsey or the Normandy beaches. The station is Grade II listed - only the 1950s canopies are of 'concrete construction' - I predict this will get rejected at planning.
Planning consent or Listed Building consent? Both will need to be applied for.
 

Malcolmffc

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I have a number of concerns with this:

1. Hidden as the last item on the consultation is demolition of the Coastguard’s Boathouse, said to have been designed by Brunel. Though not listed, it is a positive building in the Conservation Area (though listed status did not stop NR getting permission to demolish the signal box).

2. I think the footbridge is massive, and over-engineered. There is already step-free access to the Exeter-bound platform. Surely there’s a easier way of accessing the Teignmouth-bound platform. Or it has to be accepted that the station just can’t be 100% step free.
So disabled people can’t use the railway because you don’t like the look of the bridge? Seriously?!
 

MotCO

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Presumably concrete has been used for its resilience, but that does not excuse poor design.

The ultimate question is will it mean that the line is not closed during bad weather. Is there enough foreshore protection? Thinking further about this, can the line along the coast at the vulnerable parts be placed in a tunnel type cover to mitigate against trains being unable to use the line in stormy weather? Surely this would be cheaper than the much requested Dawlish Avoiding Line.
 

37424

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Well I can see a couple of my favorite photo locations around there going down the pan, but then there isn't a lot worth photographing for me on that line these days. Still that's not going to factor into the equation. Considering they are already on with the 1st bit i'm surprised they have yet to submit the plans.

The footbridge does look like something out of the late 60's but I guess it needs to be robust, and clearly the whole seaward platform does need a much more robust solution which this certainly is, but the whole area is going to look somewhat ugly concrete jungle compared to now, surely they could engineer the concrete with some kind of stone block facing that's a bit more in character.
 

HSTEd

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I'm not sure the footbridge being unusable in stormy weather is that big of a problem given that the same weather will make standing on the seaward platform unpleasant, and going down onto the beach even more so.

Ofcourse there is always the alternative of reducing Dawlish to a single platform, and having appropriate crossovers at each end to allow bypass trains to use the track that is currently served by the seaward platform.
 

30907

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Surely there’s a easier way of accessing the Teignmouth-bound platform.
A simple lift tower at the down 3nd of the platform would provide access under the existing Dawlish Water viaduct. If that's impassable, I presume the down line will be closed (or you could put a covered way under the viaduct)

Ofcourse there is always the alternative of reducing Dawlish to a single platform, and having appropriate crossovers at each end to allow bypass trains to use the track that is currently served by the seaward platform.
Not with the present level of service, I think - 4-5 tph each way. Though it will be interesting to work out how far the works will reduce the need for restrictions.
 
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Quoting a short section of the statememt:
"The Department for Transport and Network Rail have been working tirelessly to determine what needs to be done in order to protect this vital transport artery for Devon and Cornwall" (my italics). Now, assuming the people involved are professionally qualified, knowledgeable of different options, and aware of cost limitations etc, should they not deserve some credit and support for achieving the goals of greater resilience for the route, and access to the station for all, which many of us take for granted. With some of the attitudes here, we would still be using horses and carts for transport.
 

37424

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Quoting a short section of the statememt:
"The Department for Transport and Network Rail have been working tirelessly to determine what needs to be done in order to protect this vital transport artery for Devon and Cornwall" (my italics). Now, assuming the people involved are professionally qualified, knowledgeable of different options, and aware of cost limitations etc, should they not deserve some credit and support for achieving the goals of greater resilience for the route, and access to the station for all, which many of us take for granted. With some of the attitudes here, we would still be using horses and carts for transport.
True but it is a very scenic coastal resort that happens to have a mainline railway plonked on its frontage, it would be nice to try and come up with solutions that are a bit more in character of the area. This does look a bit like something designed in the 60's when no consideration was given to such things.
 

swt_passenger

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The continuous high level “promenade” along the sea wall past the station must be considered a good thing, with the new bridge over the colonnade section. Doesn’t that make the walkway available at all states of the tide?

I‘m slightly surprised that they’re embedding access for all lifts into the same application. I’d have thought it possibly better to get the coastal defence issues sorted, and apply for lifts separately.
 

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