THE storm-damaged railway line at Dawlish will reopen on Friday.
Network Rail today confirmed the long-awaited reopening today as they announced a five-year plan to invest £38bn in rail infrastructure.
It includes the construction of new tracks, the renovation of stations and the upgrade of existing lines.
The announcement comes after it emerged that Network Rail was expecting a record fine of £70m for delays suffered by passengers over the past five years.
Chief executive Mark Carne said: "I don't think in this century we should be having railways that are out of action for two months as we've suffered in Dawlish.
"It's quite clear we need to invest further in improving the resilience of our network."
Storms in February destroyed the main line at Dawlish, cutting all rail services in and out of the West country.
Dawlish was just one example of a town cut off from the network by bad weather, Mr Carne said. Network Rail has just reopened the line to Hastings after several weeks of closure due to landslips.
"We've suffered an enormous amount of damage to the railway right across the network, and that's one of the reasons why our punctuality figures have been lower than we would have liked.
"We need to do more to improve the resilience and to provide the passengers with the kind of service that I think they rightly deserve."