Trains slow down to 20mph to avoid floods

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By Western Morning News | Thursday, January 31, 2013, 08:01

Rail services into the Westcountry were once again threatened by flood waters yesterday.

Mainline trains from Tiverton into Exeter were slowed down to 20 miles per hour as the River Exe overtopped into nearby fields and threatened to submerge tracks.

The safety restrictions came just weeks after serious flooding and landslips closed inter-city and branch line services and caused misery for thousands of passengers travelling home for Christmas.

Rail operators were forced to use giant plastic booms to stem the rushing torrent of water after the Exe burst its banks in December.

This followed a series of landslides, including one massive slip near Teignmouth, which closed the line from Exeter to Plymouth in November.

Conditions were not as bad on Wednesday but surface water covered farmland in the Exe valley around Stoke Canon, prompting the slow-down of services.

A Network Rail spokesman said the 20mph speed restriction was imposed at Staffords Bridge "due to river levels", adding that "elsewhere river levels had stabilised".

Jon Baker said: We don't expect any disruption to rail services in the Exeter area unless the situation changes for the worse."



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