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Thursday, June 13, 2024

New plastic footbridge for Dawlish rail station

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An ageing steel footbridge in Devon is to be demolished to make way for a £1 million plastic replacement

The 75-year-old Dawlish station footbridge has been left with “significant areas of corrosion” because of the surrounding marine environment.

The new footbridge will be the second fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) footbridge to be installed on the Western Route. The first was at St Austell in Cornwall in October 2007.

Work is due to start on the project this month, with the existing bridge due to be removed by October 7 and the new one installed on October 14.

Completion for the whole scheme is expected to be the end of November.

Network Rail’s route asset manager for buildings, Simon Gyde, said: “The renewal of Dawlish station footbridge is driven by the asset condition and safety. The existing footbridge was last reconstructed in 1937, using steel girders taken from Park Royal Station.

“Despite numerous repair schemes being carried out, the bridge suffers from the harsh marine environment, and now has significant areas of corrosion to the main girders and roof structure with poor protective paintwork and rotten timber decking.”

The plastic components are being supplied by Pipex Ltd, the Plymouth-based structural composites manufacturer, replicating the style of the original steel bridge at the Grade 2 listed station.

Network Rail’s engineers considered a number of alternatives, including a complete refurbishment and strengthening scheme using traditional materials, before deciding to completely replace the existing footbridge with a plastic FRP structure.

When finished, the footbridge will be painted Admiral Gray in keeping with the rest of the station.


    • This is good news for the town and long overdue. Does anyone know the details of how the old bridge will be removed and the new one installed. Will it all happen using a railcrane.


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