Spotlight on the largest coastal protection scheme in North-Western Europe

Iarnród Éireann – Irish Rail has awarded Jacobs the commission for detailed design and planning services, including environmental assessments and statutory submissions for the East Coast Railway Infrastructure Protection Projects (ECRIPP) program.

ECRIPP is required to defend long sections of the essential Dublin to Rosslare coastal rail line from coastal erosion and flooding for the next 100 years.

Also, ECRIPP will be the largest coastal protection scheme in North-Western Europe.

The South-East railway carries DART and mainline services and runs for 104 miles (168 kilometers) to Rosslare. Just under half of the route length (47.8 miles or 77 kilometers) runs adjacent to a coastal or estuarine environment making it vulnerable to the impact of climate change.

ECRIPP is planned to defend the railway infrastructure and boost coastal resilience in the face of a changing climate with its associated rising sea levels.

The frequency of track washout, where the sea has eroded the land supporting the railway, along with wave overtopping onto the tracks, has increased in the last 20 years. These incidents have had significant impacts on performance and safety as well as major losses of land and habitats.

Options such as breakwaters, beach nourishment, onshore revetment strengthening, and other interventions will be subject to detailed design and modelling in the first phase of the program.

Irish Rail said that the projects will be completed as separate cells in stages within seven years.

Photo: Jacobs