Network Rail has awarded the contract for the new sea wall at Dawlish to BAM Nuttall.
Work starts at the end of May and is expected to take approximately nine months to complete, with work stopping during the peak summer season to minimise disruption to tourism.
A computer-generated image of the new wall
The reconstruction, which will make the sea wall higher, is expected to cost around £30m and is part of an £80m package of works to increase the resilience of the rail line into Devon and Cornwall.
David Lovell, Network Rail senior programme manager for the Dawlish sea wall project, said: ‘We look forward to working with BAM Nuttall on delivering this vital upgrade that will protect the rail artery to the south west for the next 100 years.
‘Our plans have been drawn up by world leading engineers and it will provide greater protection to the railway and town from rising sea levels and extreme weather. Together with BAM Nuttall we will continue to update the community with how our work is progressing.’
Huw Jones, rail divisional director at BAM Nuttall, said: ‘We have a long association working at Dawlish, and successfully delivered emergency recovery of the railway during 2014.
‘This is a great opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to creating sustainable solutions that enhance the lives of passengers and everyone in communities where we work.’
BAM Nuttall said it will be ‘using modern engineering techniques, resulting in a stronger, and more resilient construction’.
It said the wall will protect the railway and the town from extreme weather and predicted rising sea levels for generations to come while the local community will also benefit from improvements to the promenade, keeping clear views of the coast.