Lines that will be lost due to Climate Change

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by reddragon, 22 May 2019.

  1. reddragon

    reddragon Member

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    The growing Climate Emergency is making headline news around the world and WILL have a significant effect on our railway network.

    Whilst we can Engineer out problems caused by more severe weather, with bigger culverts and better defences, there is little hope of winning against rising sea levels plus the bigger storms caused by higher global temperatures.

    Already sea levels have risen 20 cm and were predicted to rise 0.5 to 1m by 2100, but now scientist have just changed that estimate to over 2 metres!! There is also a risk it could become significantly more, with 7-15 m being touted if we don't stop burning stuff!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-48337629
    .

    This week I read of the first railway in the UK to be sacrificed to rising sea levels

    https://www.theguardian.com/environ...-who-could-be-britains-first-climate-refugees

    And of course Fairbourne has a little railway, but not for much longer!

    So which main line railway will be lost first? Dawlish; B&H across the Somerset levels or somewhere else?
     
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  3. Brush 4

    Brush 4 Member

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    Yes, Dawlish, another reason to reopen the full Okehampton route. Cumbrian Coast, Cambrian Coast, Gt Yarmouth lines.
     
  4. Metal_gee_man

    Metal_gee_man Member

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    The Dover Priory to Folkestone Central line couldn't be more exposed or precariously placed with chalk tunnels and seas just a few feet away
     
  5. JamesT

    JamesT Member

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    The Fife Coast section of Edinburgh to Aberdeen gets pretty close to the shore in places.
     
  6. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    How high above the winter water is the Ely to Peterborough line?
     
  7. brad465

    brad465 Member

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    If Fairbourne does become the first village to go due to climate change impacts, wouldn't the Cambrian Coast line by default be "the first" railway to be lost as the village is served by the said line?

    Also while its effects may not perfectly offset rising sea levels this century, post-glacial rebound is raising land in north Wales, northern England and Scotland, which will slow down the effects of rising sea levels in this area. In contrast, everywhere else land is falling, so the low railways of East Anglia and the south coastal routes have more to worry about.
     
    Last edited: 23 May 2019
  8. Jonny

    Jonny Established Member

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    The answer is, "quite likely" - the main railway seems to be raised - probably less than one metre if this slice from Google Street View is anything to go by: https://www.google.com/maps/@52.695...4!1sWzKAnos0PUD1lxX2B_SQYQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    Whilst the science does have a few issues - like the tendency to use urban maximum temperatures (which may not be a reflection of changes in adjacent rural areas) and a failure to account for increased evaporation and also (secondary to increased evaporation) increased snow precipitation at the poles (especially Antarctica, which has some high land areas) that offset sea level rises, it would still be a good excuse to build some new lines as 'diversions' (like a fast route from Exeter to Plymouth and maybe from the Cambrian Coast to Bangor, Blaenau Ffestiniog and/or Llangollen)...
     
  9. bluenoxid

    bluenoxid Established Member

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    I expect it to be marginal lines lost in storm events. Ryde Pier Head is one of the first I expect to see go.
     
  10. gingertom

    gingertom Member

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    Saltcoats?
     
  11. Ted172

    Ted172 Member

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    Ryde Esplanade - Ryde Pier Head?
     
  12. thejuggler

    thejuggler Member

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    Many years ago I was involved in producing sea level rise maps, now it will take seconds, back then it took weeks.

    Doncaster would be a seaside town with a 5m rise.
     
  13. reddragon

    reddragon Member

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    Sea defences now = managed retreat, even where there's housing! There are maps somewhere showing vulnerable areas. The Wash & Somerset levels are on that
     
  14. reddragon

    reddragon Member

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  15. reddragon

    reddragon Member

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    Looks like lines to Lowestoft & Great Yarmouth actually top the list
     
  16. randyrippley

    randyrippley Established Member

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    Most of Lancaster - Barrow is at risk as it follows the sea wall along Morecambe Bay
    Also, the WCML could easily be breached by a storm surge at Hest Bank (again Morecambe Bay)
    Parts of the Morecambe-Heysham line are on reclaimed bog that could easily be lost to the sea

    For that matter, don't forget huge areas of Lancashire are on reclaimed semi-tidal bog: the Blackpool South line (along the Ribble estuary), the lines leading to and around Southport and Ormskirk would be at risk if the drainage was ever turned off
     
  17. caliwag

    caliwag Member

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    I'd have thought Hull and surroundings would be a candidate. Despite the river Hull tidal barrier, there's high water table in much of the city and wasn't it reclaimed land originally?
     
  18. allaction

    allaction Member

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    How safe would the line between Gowerton and Llanelli be?
     
  19. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    Yes, that's the same on http://flood.firetree.net/ set to 1m sea level rise. The first main lines in trouble look like the Great Eastern at Cattawade/Manningtree, the Fen Line (of course - but that area's already below sea level and drained by pumps today) both sides of Ely, the East Coast south of Peterborough and the South Devon at Exminster Marshes, not Dawlish at first. We also end up with a lot more seaside routes than we had before.
     
  20. Clayton

    Clayton Member

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    But surely climate change is just made up by lefties? We’ll be fine after Brexit
     
  21. reddragon

    reddragon Member

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    Err no every expert agrees, its Science fact not maybe or supposition.

    Its only utter morons like Trump and greedy Bas****s like oil company bosses who are 'deniers'
     
  22. NoMorePacers

    NoMorePacers Member

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    I think he was being sarcastic. The use of the word lefties gives it away.
     
  23. reddragon

    reddragon Member

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    At least Climate Change IS happening, who knows if Brexit will or won't and if it does it will be anything what anyone wanted, be they remainers, Brexiteers or the excluded majority!
     
  24. Clayton

    Clayton Member

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    Yes sorry, just stirring harmlessly! I’m surprised no one has challenged the premise. But pleased
     
  25. reddragon

    reddragon Member

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    Thats OK
     
  26. Jonny

    Jonny Established Member

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    Besides, a side effect of the earth's rotation is that water is drawn away from the poles towards the equator. Rising sea levels are unlikely to be more of a nuisance this far from the equator...

    But, hey, any excuse to build some ^diversion^ lines.
     
  27. Jozhua

    Jozhua Member

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    Ultimately, it isn't beyond Network Rail to protect infrastructure when the time comes, however some routes near the sea could become costly to maintain, especially with natural sea erosion, even ignoring the effects of rising sea levels.

    It is likely we might see more tropical storms in the coming years as well, so not only costal infrastructure is at risk!

    Heat as well appears to be a concern, especially with the summers getting progressively warmer year on year. Definitely think air con is going to have to become a staple of many trains going forward! :lol:
     
  28. Taunton

    Taunton Established Member

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    Coastal erosion has always taken place. How on earth do you think that cliffs form?

    The first railway lost to the sea was probably Whitby to Redcar in the 1950s, which had a long history of cliffside erosion before it was given up. The current rather strange Whitby service involving reversal at Battersby in the middle of nowhere is a result. Dover to Folkestone built over notably soft chalk likewise has a long history of trouble - it was inconveniently closed for much of World War 1 100 years ago because of it.

    I recall both tracks fully wrecked at Dawlish in a 1960s winter storm. Of course, in those days it was sorted out by all the area gangs in days.

    As someone has mentioned the Somerset Levels, just about all in West Somerset will tell you that the issues nowadays are entirely down to loonies from Defra in London stopping the longstanding dredging of the main drainage rivers, which had gone on for a couple of centuries. On the Somerton to Taunton stretch Langport station had always flooded most winters (remember those little maps you drew in primary school where you did the wiggly little river and wrote "flood plain" alongside) and was much improved in recent decades until Defra struck. Steam locos used to wade through, to the extent that they arrived at Taunton on what steam remained in the boiler, the fire having been drowned out. Can't do that any more with the shiny new 800s. The main line through Athelney has long been a source of overtime for the Taunton pw crews, huge amounts of ballast have gone in over the years there - but apparently Network Rail don't budget that much for it now. So guess what happens ...
     
  29. Dr Hoo

    Dr Hoo Established Member

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    Although not directly caused by tracks being washed away or submerged it could be argued that a lot of closures of lines serving collieries and coal fired power stations were due to climate change (in the sense that the unsustainability of carbon-emitting power generation at least accelerated their demise).
     
  30. NoMorePacers

    NoMorePacers Member

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    There isn't that many left though I don't think.
     
  31. Dr_Paul

    Dr_Paul Member

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    The Ffestiniog line between Boston Lodge and Porthmadog and the Boston Lodge depot itself, and the Welsh Highland at Caernarfon, where the new station has just been completed, will surely be in jeopardy if sea levels rise more than a couple of feet.
     

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