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Independent shipping news, photography and more from the Dover Strait.
Independent shipping news, photography and more from the Dover Strait.

Shakespeare Beach Railworks


The Players:

The course of the railway between Dover Priory and Folkestone Central is one of the most expensive pieces of rail infrastucture in the UK to maintain. The track is regularly inspected and during just such a routine inspection late in the afternoon of Christmas Eve 2015, serious erosion was discovered threatening not just the integrity of the line but also that of passenger safety.  


Serious coastal erosion had occurred, hundreds of tonnes of shingle had been scoured from the beach revealing the footings of the seawall which had suffered severe cracks and partial collapse resulting in sinkholes appearing in the trackbed and damaging the track itself. A series of winter storms had compounded the issues and continue to do so as the work progresses. 


The line was immediately closed and all services suspended whilst further investigation work was completed. Within the hour, a replacement bus service had been put in place maintaining this important commuter link between the two towns, the capital and beyond. 


Network Rail, responsible for the infrastructure and  Southeastern Railway, for the services that use it, liased closely and continue to do so as this massively challenging project continues. Network Rail's approved and preferred partner, Costain, contacted the nationwide plant and haulage company, L Lynch and a significant number of men and machines moved in. will be there too, producing a photographic record for the duration of the project and this is it!


This page gathers together the images from the Facebook page updates and is regularly updated with the latest images and information. During the months ahead,  The page also uses the photography of others and this is credited accordingly and I take this opportunity to thank you all for your input. I will be bringing you behind the scenes photography of the progress from Shakespeare Beach and again, I would like to express my sincere thanks to L Lynch and Costain for the assistance they have given, enabling this photographic record to be produced.


The content of this page is the copyright of:, Costain and L Lynch.


Christmas Day and a picture that is indeed probably worth a thousand words. The crack in the seawall, associated sinkage of the track bed and deformation of the metals.


Within hours, leading nationwide plant and haulage company L Lynch responded and mobilised over £5.5 million of plant, a fraction of which can be seen here.

Living up to their motto "Meeting Hire Demands".


The Ships......


Two very contrasting coasters have been calling at the port, delivering rock armour from Svartebukt, Norway. The modern coaster Liamare of the Dutch, Liamare Shipping was completed in 2001. The second is Minor Shipping's classic, Henriette dating from 1971. Usually alongside for a few days, both are fitted with machines on a travelling gantry and self unload into the dumpers for the short haul to the beach and ultimate placing in position to form a barrier which dissipates the wave action.

Some 18,000 tonnes of rock is expected to be used in this way.



Did I mention Dumpers....?

L Lynch are operating seven dumpers on site. One CAT 730C and six Terex TA 300's.


The work is both tidal and time sensitive......


It's not just about bringing rock in either. As the excavations continue, spoil is loaded onto freight trains and removed from the site on a regular basis.


Uncovering History.....


Originally, the railway line between Shakespeare Tunnel and Dover Marine Station, ran for a portion of it's length on a raised Victorian timber trestle viaduct. In 1927, this was filled in. It is only now that the original timbers are have been unearther during the course of the works. A fascinating snapshot of local history.

Photo: Kind permission and copyright Richard Law.


Moving The Rock.....


On The Beach....


Beating The Tide:

Work continues on Saturday 30th January.



This page is under construction and regularly updated, more follows...

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