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[英伦广角] 2014-02-15 洪水切断英格兰多数铁路

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Repairing the damage to the rail network in the south west England could run into the spring. Huge containers filled with concrete and rocks with the broken track at Dawlish and Devon are little more than a temperate patch-up. Empty tracks for miles and miles means that no one is going anywhere fast.

“It typically takes two and three quarter hours. It’s probably, say, about five hours.”

“I’m gonna go bus to Bristol, Parkway. Train to Redinon and change again to go for London.”

“How long you think that will take?”

“No idea, no idea.”

At Exeter where thousands connect each day, buses are the new trains and they are moving thousands of passengers. It means hours are added to daily journeys. Hugh Blackstaffe travels regularly between the south west and London, a journey made more difficult now.

“With the weather being widely bad, it’s just gonna continue to be a huge problem.”

“What would you do if you have…cause you need to do this journey regularly. What are you gonna do?”

“I’m just gonna have to go and bear it. I’m just sucked up and deal with whatever frozen. Hopefully, they all get down here eventually even it means one in the morning. I mean it’s important.”

Any passengers wanting to head south of here will have to get on a bus like this or do it on their own steam. Anyone who wants to go off to London will have to get on board and divert to Bristol. This will become a way of life for thousands of commuters for the foreseeable future at least.

Network Rail say they are doing all they can to fix the broken tracks, to get the trains wheeling again, but admit that more storms may bring more misery.

“It’s not just the flooding, it’s the grand water. The water table, not just where you see floods, but Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey all away round through Kent and elsewhere. It’s the highest it’s ever been for some time. So a lot of our embankments, a lot of our track is very heavily waterlogged at the moment.”

The bad weather has put lives on hold for those in the eye of this storm. But its effects are being felt far and wide now as transport links here, fill the stream.

Nick Martin, Sky News, Exeter.
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