The first part of resilience and new safety equipment is now being tested at Dawlish as part of the South West Resilience Programme. In a first for the United Kingdom, NR are overseeing the introduction of a new signalling system to warn train drivers of potential over topping of waves on the sea wall. The addition of the Blue aspect on the signal gantry will only be applied during severe weather periods and will instruct the drivers to activate windscreen wipers whilst proceeding at caution until Teignmouth Station.
Netwash Rail spokeswoman Paula Legge said, “This is the first installation of this type anywhere within the UK. We anticipate repeating these signals along other coastal stretches of railway elsewhere in the UK. It is hoped that the addition of the blue signal will help to alert drivers of severe conditions and overtopping waves between Dawlish and Teignmouth”
These signals have been trialed and put into services elsewhere in the World. Most notably in Luxembourg where drivers have stated the coastal line is now a much safer environment to drive a train.
The first signal has now been installed and will begin operation as of 1st April 2019.