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Improving the railway in the South West – temporary disruption

By January 7, 2019January 26th, 2021Member News & Updates, Transport

The Great Western Main Line, passes through a number of tunnels, including Whiteball, near Tiverton Parkway, and Marley, near Totnes.  To ensure their continued use, Network Rail needs to carry out maintenance in February and March 2019.

  • Whiteball Tunnel will be closed from Monday 18 February to Friday 8 March
  • Marley Tunnel (towards London) will be closed from Sunday 17 February to Friday 8 March. The tunnel towards Plymouth will stay open to allow us to run a limited service to run in both directions

Trains between London and the South West will continue to run. However, there will be fewer services, and journey times will be extended by up to 60 minutes.

Replacement buses will run between Taunton, Tiverton Parkway and Exeter St Davids.

Important: Network Rail won’t update online journey planners until early January 2019.


GWR's travel advice

Plan ahead – Train times will be amended, with fewer trains running from some stations. Find out more at

Allow plenty of time – Some trains will be diverted, and your journey may involve a replacement bus, or a change of trains.

Travelling to or from Cornwall – There will be very few direct trains to/from London. A shuttle train will run between Plymouth and Penzance.


Local journeys in Devon 

Exeter St Davids to Newton Abbot, Totnes and Plymouth – Hourly service, alternating between GWR and CrossCountry.

Exeter to Paignton – Local stopping trains will continue to run, but there will be changes to the normal timetable.

Exeter to Pinhoe, Honiton, Axminster – Train times will be amended. Check carefully before travelling.

Tiverton Parkway – Buses will replace all trains towards both Taunton and Exeter St Davids.

Totnes – All services will depart from Platform 1.

Barnstaple branch – A normal service will run.

Exmouth branch – Some trains will run earlier than normal.

There will also be some weekend amendments to many stations – for full information visit