Contractors have started repairing the embankment damage on the West Somerset Railway at Combe Florey, north of Bishops Lydeard. The damage took place just before Christmas after a prolonged period of heavy rain caused flooding of the railway. Water and soil flowed onto the railway and on to the A358 Minehead to Taunton main road.
Fortunately, the railway track itself was not damaged although some of the ballast needed to be replaced. Immediately after Christmas, engineers and technical staff from the railway were on site to assess the damage, and plan the repairs to the embankment. Contractors have been engaged for this work and are now on site.
Steps have been taken by the adjacent landowner to reduce the potential runoff to the road and railway. The West Somerset Railway are working closely with Somerset County Council to co-ordinate their response.
West Somerset Railway Director, Frank Courtney, said:
The Board of the Railway are very grateful indeed to our many friends and supporters across the country (including from the mainline railway) who have offered their help and support in this very difficult situation. Councillor Mike Rigby, Somerset County Council Executive Member for Transport and Digital, has been extremely helpful in facilitating contact with the Council.
“This work is going to cost a significant amount, but at the moment our main priority is to ensure that the railway re-opens on time in early March. Work is underway in the background to assess the full cost of repairing the embankment and associated work. Various sources of funding are being addressed and we will give more information in due course. As always, we welcome support from our many supporters to keep our track in top condition. Contacting our support charity, the West Somerset Railway Association (see wsra.org.uk) will give all the information you need.”
FRANK COURTNEY (DIRECTOR)
M: 07906 236867
Email: [email protected]