Published on 9th December 2018
Whiteball Tunnel was built between 1842 and 1844 and is 1000meters in length.
February 2019 will see the final line closure for an engineering blockade to complete Whiteball Tunnel along with a partial closure of a single bore at Marley Tunnel (near Plymouth), which will occur at the same time.
Work to repair Whiteball tunnel started as part of a three-phase operation in 2012 when a Ram-Arch wire mesh system was installed into the tunnel lining, in preparation for a sprayed concrete lining to be applied. Two years later in 2014, the second phase of the works sprayed mass concrete onto the tunnel crown. These two phases were carried out by Amco (who were then ideally placed to rush to the Dawlish Sea Wall collapse with their concrete equipment to prevent further damage catastrophic sea wall collapse). Four years on Network Rail have appointed J Murph's & Son Ltd to complete the final phase of work at the Whiteball Tunnel site. The works are due to take place between Monday 18th February and Friday 8th March 2019. Included within the engineering work are the completion of the concrete spraying RAM -Arch inside the tunnel (approx 345 linear meters in total), installation of further drainage channels and removal of two redundant line side buildings located at the Taunton end of Whiteball Tunnel.
During the 2019 engineering works, Road Replacement Transport will be supplied from Taunton. A limited amount of long distance services from London Paddington - Penzance will be diverted via Yeovil and Honiton to Exeter. All other GWR and Cross Country services from London and the North will terminate at Taunton. The locomotive hauled Night Riviera services will also operate via Yeovil.
A selection of road transport will operate fast services between Taunton and Exeter, and other services will operate to Tiverton Parkway.
Photos from the Phase 2 works at Whiteball Tunnel in 2014 can also be viewed here: Whiteball Tunnel