Since the damage caused by heavy storms which resulted in a six-week closure of the railway in 2014, Network Rail has been developing plans to improve the resilience of the railway between Exeter and Newton Abbot.
In 2018, ABPmer was commissioned by Arup and its client Network Rail to undertake wave modelling and multivariate analysis along the Dawlish Frontage, with focus on Marine Parade as part of the wider Exeter to Newton Abbot Resilience project.
A localised wave model, extending from Portland Bill to Start Point was created to generate a long term hindcast database of wave conditions along the Dawlish Frontage. To account for climate change, three epochs were considered in the hindcast analysis (2015, 2065 and 2115).
The local hindcast was subject to multivariate extreme value analysis (EVA) which created a Monte Carlo dataset and derivation of Joint Exceedance Curves. These were transformed inshore to the toe of the structure for overtopping assessments supporting the detailed design.
ABPmer also undertook a detailed coastal process (morphological) assessment and developed a short-term plan for managing the beach in advance of the next investment programme.
In June 2019, work began to protect the coastal railway line. The scheduled finish was early 2020.