• York Rotary

Coping with a soggy railway

Updated: Oct 30

Frank reports...


Standing in on October 15th at very late notice, Mike Hogg gave us a graphic account of the impact on rail services from the severe flooding in 2014 when he was Operations Director of Great Western Railways.






Storms had washed away part of the railway at Dawlish effectively cutting off Cornwall from the national network.


He outlined the emergency arrangements implemented within 24 hours which culminated in over 160 buses providing replacement rail services. Eight high speed train units were trapped in Cornwall and 102 rail vehicles had to be transferred by road on low loaders to Bristol to operate the significantly revised timetables.



Restoration of the sea wall and track at Dawlish was achieved in two months. At the same time severe flooding also affected other parts of the GWR system including the Somerset Levels , Oxford and Maidenhead and preventative measures are still being implemented.


He paid tribute to the way the employees of all the organisations involved worked together to minimise the disruption to travellers.

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