The scheme is expected to protect the track from falling debris from the cliffs by means of netting and catch fences.
Funding for the scheme was announced by the Department for Transport in April 2022, taking the total invested in the South West Rail Resilience Programme (SWRRP) to more than £150m.
Bam Nuttall has begun ground investigation works and site surveys along the 1km stretch to inform the detailed design of the scheme. It are also seeking agreement for land access and consents for the work, which is expected to start in spring 2023 and take a year to complete.
This contract award extends Bam Nuttall’s involvement in the SWRRP programme. The civil engineering contractor is currently in the latter stages of the construction of a new £80m sea wall at Dawlish.
Network Rail senior programme manager Ewen Morrison said: “We are delighted to have awarded the contract to Bam Nuttall, who have already successfully completed the first section of the new bigger sea wall at Dawlish for us and are making great progress with the second section.
“We look forward to continuing working with them on this next phase of the South West Rail Resilience Programme which will help protect the railway from storms and climate change for years to come.
“The selection process for the contract emphasised the importance of the environment in this area and we are working with Teignbridge District Council for the section of the work that will overlook Marine Parade, Dawlish, and with Natural England on the areas that fall within the Dawlish Cliffs Site of Special Scientific Interest.”
Bam Nuttall managing director for transport, Huw Jones, said: “Since the infamous storms washed away the railway in Dawlish in February 2014, Bam is proud to have played a vital part in the restoration and safeguarding of the vital south-western route on behalf of Network Rail and the SWRRP.
“Bam’s team in Dawlish has demonstrated incredible skill, creativity and determination to deliver a sea wall which will protect the railway and Dawlish centre for many decades to come and I’m delighted that this appointment will enable them to continue delivering further protections for the Devonshire railway.”