A multi-hazard risk model with cascading failure pathways for the Dawlish (UK) railway using historical and contemporary data

Journal article


Adams, K. and Heidarzadeh, M (2021). A multi-hazard risk model with cascading failure pathways for the Dawlish (UK) railway using historical and contemporary data. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. 56 (102082). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2021.102082
AuthorsAdams, K. and Heidarzadeh, M
Abstract

The failure of the vital economic railway link between London and the southwest of the United Kingdom in the
2014 storm chain incurred up to £1.2bn of economic losses. This incident highlighted the urgent need to understand the cascading nature of multi hazards involved in storm damage. This study focuses on the Dawlish
railway where a seawall breach caused two months of railway closure in 2014. We used historical and
contemporary data of severe weather damage and used failure analysis to develop a multi-hazard risk model for
the railway. Twenty-nine damage events caused significant line closure in the period 1846–2014. For each event,
hazards were identified, the sequence of failures were deconstructed, and a flowchart for each event was
formulated showing the interrelationship of multiple hazards and their potential to cascade. The most frequent
damage mechanisms were identified: (I) landslide, (II) direct ballast washout, and (III) masonry damage. We
developed a risk model for the railway which has five layers in the top-down order of: (a) root cause (storm); (b)
force generation (debris impact, wave impact, overtopping, excess pore pressure, wind impacts); (c) common
cause failure (slope instability, rail flooding, coping and parapet damage, foundation failure and masonry
damage); (d) cascading failure (landslide, ballast washout, upper masonry seawall failure, loss of infill material),
and (e) network failure forcing service suspension. We identified five separate failure pathways and damage
mechanisms by analysing these 29 major events.

KeywordsStorm surge Cascading failure pathway Dawlish railway Multi-hazard Structural vulnerability Damage mechanism
Year2021
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Journal citation56 (102082)
PublisherElsevier
ISSN2212-4209
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2021.102082
Web address (URL)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212420921000480?via%3Dihub
Publication dates
Print01 Apr 2021
Online29 Jan 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted23 Jan 2021
Deposited15 Mar 2024
Publisher's version
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Open
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