THE new rockfall shelter built to protect the vital railway line at Dawlish has been shortlisted for an award. 

The project is among 12 from across the South West competing for public votes in the ICE South West People’s Choice Award 2024 aimed at raising awareness about the work of the region’s civil engineers.

The 110m-long protective shelter at the northern end of Parson’s Tunnel aims to protect trains from falling rocks. 

It is strong enough to withstand a 5-tonne boulder crashing down from the cliffs above, which is equivalent to the weight of an adult elephant falling onto the railway.

The £42m scheme, delivered by Arup and Morgan Sindall Infrastructure for Network Rail, used innovative techniques and a travelling gantry-crane system to install precast components to overcome the constraints of working next to a live railway, steep cliffs and the sea.

The award is an annual initiative by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) South West. 

It provides an opportunity for the public to learn about and vote for their favourite civil engineering projects in the region through a free online poll.

Miranda Housden, ICE South West Regional Director, said: ‘The award is a fantastic way to showcase civil engineering to the public and recognise the civil engineers who work to improve our communities.’

The winning project will be revealed in Bristol in October.

People can vote for free at