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Video | New rail viaduct at Dover

Dover sea wall

Network Rail and Costain engineers are working on a £44.5M project to build a new 235m-long viaduct at Dover after the line was found to be damaged.

Source: Network Rail

The construction will comprise of 134 concrete columns which will be sunk into the beach and the construction is expected to have a lifespan of 120 years.

The original railway on Shakespeare Beach was raised on wooden trestles, but it was closed on Christmas eve after significant damage was found to the sea wall’s foundation.

Network Rail’s route managing director Alasdair Coates said: “We hope to have trains running again in December. As with all projects of this scale, and this kind of exposed location, we will face challenges with the weather and the ground we are working on, but I am confident this is the right plan and one that will give us a strong railway, years into the future.”

Network Rail’s Steve Kilby, who is leading the project, said: “The railway at this location was originally built on a timber viaduct and our modern, concrete viaduct will follow the same principles – although it will be hidden behind a wall of rock sea defences. We will also put a new footbridge back where the old one was, so people can continue to enjoy Shakespeare beach.

“In addition to rebuilding the railway, we are also defending almost 750m of the sea wall with more than 90,000 tonnes of rock – the same weight as two modern cross-Channel ferries.

“It’s a massive job but we have a good plan in place and we are already cracking on.”

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