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Author Topic: Dawlish Sea Wall  (Read 1141 times)
Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #30 on: February 16, 2021, 12:22:34 pm »

How were Victorian railways expected to cope with this section? Or was it simply accepted that they wouldn't run in bad weather?
I don't know of any steam locomotive that ever had a brake resistor mounted on its roof. 
But that's only the latest, model-specific problem. There have been problems with waves and high water encroaching the tracks there for much longer. I remember reading about flooding problems there in the 1990s.
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Waiting at Pilning for the midnight sleeper to Prague.
froome
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« Reply #31 on: February 16, 2021, 12:37:44 pm »

The east-facing section of Devon coast from the Exe estuary south to Start Point has always faced a battle with the elements, which it invariably loses. Anyone wanting to understand this should read the history of Hallsands, where the original village was completely wiped out by a succession of storms during the first years of the 20th century, with waves sometimes breaking right over its houses. Eventually the last buildings were lost in 1917, and a new village built inland. That village is now on the coast, and will face the same battles.
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broadgage
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« Reply #32 on: February 16, 2021, 04:33:31 pm »

Potentially dangerous for the driver and fireman I’d have thought.

Yes, two main risks IMO, firstly the very sudden cooling of parts of a hot boiler might cause an explosion due to unequal stresses. (note that steam ships often explode if they sink, as sea water contacts hot boilers)
Also risk of burns from sudden clouds of steam, steam is far more dangerous than hot air, since it condenses on the skin and gives up latent heat.

Possibly a slight risk of hypothermia if the train was unable to proceed, and the crew were exposed to cold wet conditions without the heat from the fire.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
REVUpminster
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« Reply #33 on: February 16, 2021, 05:11:02 pm »

The east-facing section of Devon coast from the Exe estuary south to Start Point has always faced a battle with the elements, which it invariably loses. Anyone wanting to understand this should read the history of Hallsands, where the original village was completely wiped out by a succession of storms during the first years of the 20th century, with waves sometimes breaking right over its houses. Eventually the last buildings were lost in 1917, and a new village built inland. That village is now on the coast, and will face the same battles.

Agree with this. Slapton Sands A379 is again under threat and may not be rebuilt if it goes again.

Hollicombe Beach between Torquay and Paignton is another risk that if it went would be very difficult to repair. Nearby cliffs by Institute beach are being hollowed out by the sea and I wonder how secure Cliff Court apartments are.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2021, 09:34:26 pm »

Potentially dangerous for the driver and fireman I’d have thought.

Should be OK as long as they can swim.
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stuving
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« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2021, 10:17:50 pm »

Potentially dangerous for the driver and fireman I’d have thought.

Should be OK as long as they can swim.

Swimming doesn't really work unless the water sits still, with a flat top and air above it!

And I think that's the key to what could have happened. We've seen the "spray" coming over the old sea wall, which goes up the wall and slightly forwards and comes down onto the track. And it contains some big lumps of just water, not mixed with much air, and capable of piling up quite deep. Of course it immediately starts responding to gravity by falling to the ground, tending towards the lowest and flattest it can.

So, could it - briefly - either sit there and have a train drive through it, or force its way in from the side, deep enough to force its way through the air damper to the underside of the grate? It's very hard to imagine - this kind of dynamic behaviour of water just doesn't match our intuition, mainly because it's hard to experience or even observe closely enough to understand it. But I suspect it is possible - perhaps not likely, but then that wasn't the question: it was reported as happening just once.
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johnneyw
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« Reply #36 on: February 17, 2021, 09:19:23 pm »

The east-facing section of Devon coast from the Exe estuary south to Start Point has always faced a battle with the elements, which it invariably loses. Anyone wanting to understand this should read the history of Hallsands, where the original village was completely wiped out by a succession of storms during the first years of the 20th century, with waves sometimes breaking right over its houses. Eventually the last buildings were lost in 1917, and a new village built inland. That village is now on the coast, and will face the same battles.

Hallsands was also done no favours by the extensive dredging of the seabed immediately offshore that was used in the construction of the Plymouth breakwater.  It wasn't long before the shingle beach started to recede which left the village without it's former protection from the forces of the sea.
Nowadays, it is indeed a strange place to visit but you can still make out the remains of houses, once lying flush with a shingle beach, now perched on rocks.
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Pb_devon
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« Reply #37 on: February 18, 2021, 07:58:37 am »

Correction....not the Plymouth Breakwater, but the North Extension to Devonport Dockyard (1896-1906).
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