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Devon and Cornwall rail customers advised to check before they travel over the coming weeks

By June 4, 2018January 26th, 2021Member News & Updates, Transport

With two separate pieces of Network Rail railway upgrade works impacting GWR’s trains this coming weekend and over the following two weeks, the train operator is warning passengers to double check their journey before they travel.

From this Saturday [2 June] through to and including Thursday 7 June, and on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 June, Network Rail will continue the electrification of the railway between Reading and Newbury. Long distance services from London Paddington to Somerset, Devon and Cornwall will continue to operate but will be diverted, adding up to 50 minutes to journey times. Some train departure times will also be changed, and passengers are advised to check beforehand.

Flood resilience work at Cowley Bridge near Exeter, will also affect rail services between Exeter St Davids and Tiverton Parkway and on the Tarka line to Barnstaple the following week, from Tuesday 12 to Thursday 14 June (inclusive).


Train services will operate as per below:

  • One train every two hours will operate between London Paddington and Exeter St Davids, Plymouth and Penzance which will be diverted via Yeovil and Honiton; not calling at Taunton and Tiverton Parkway. Journey times will be extended by up to 50 minutes
  • One train every two hours will continue to operate between London Paddington, Taunton and Tiverton Parkway, with buses through to Exeter for stations through to Penzance
  • Exeter St Davids to Penzance services will continue to operate but there will be some changes to the timetable
  • Half hourly services will continue between Exeter St Davids and Exmouth
  • Services to Bristol and Cardiff will start from Tiverton Parkway or Taunton
  • The Night Riviera service will continue to operate, using a diversionary route, not calling at Taunton

Rail replacement buses will operate between Exeter St Davids and Barnstaple.


GWR Operations Director Rob Mullen said:

“Please check your journey beforehand and plan in advance if you are travelling during this next fortnight.

“Network Rail is carrying out vital work to improve the resilience of the railway infrastructure, helping us to continue to operate services during periods of inclement weather, as well as continuing its work to electrify the Great Western.”


Network Rail Commercial Scheme Sponsor for the flood resilience work project, Victoria Bradley, said:

“Our work at Cowley Bridge is a key part of our Railway Upgrade Plan and along with our proposed project at Hele will improve the resilience of this part of the Great Western Main Line.

“The work involves building a brand new culvert and enlarging an existing culvert to enable us to drain more water away from the tracks. This will mean fewer cancelled services and less disruption for passengers in the future.”

CrossCountry services from the North of England will terminate at Taunton and from Plymouth and Penzance will terminate at Exeter St Davids.


South Western Railway services will be retimed, with some terminating at Yeovil Junction for a connecting GWR service continuing to Exeter.