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Update: More details of disruption to Exeter-London train services during tunnel works

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: December 06, 2013

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Major disruption to train services between Exeter and London Paddington is expected in the new year when the main line is closed for three weeks.

Network Rail will be carrying out works to renew track, improve drainage and repair the Whiteball Tunnel in Somerset from Saturday, January 18, and Sunday, February 9.

During this time, the main rail line between Exeter and Taunton will be closed. A replacement bus service will operate between Exeter St David’s, Tiverton Parkway and Taunton, with journey times expected to be increased by up to 75 minutes.

First Great Western will be operating a reduced timetable between Exeter and London Paddington. Some trains services between Exeter and the capital will be diverted via Yeovil, adding around an hour to journey times.

Tiverton Parkway will be completely served by rail replacement road transport during the works.

David Crome, First Great Western’s general manager west, said: “While we have worked hard to keep disruption to a minimum, some train times have been altered and we advise customers to check before they travel.”

The main changes are as follows:

Exeter to Paddington: To keep passengers on trains as much as possible, some services on this route will need to be diverted through Yeovil. This includes the sleeper services in both directions. Trains will be re-timed and usual journey times will be extended by up to one hour. Travelling chef services will not be available on services diverted via Yeovil.

Re-timed morning services: In a bid to maintain services that will allow customers to make morning meetings in London and Devon, some First Great Western trains will depart 30-65 minutes earlier than usual on Mondays to Fridays during the blockade.

The first Exeter to London service will depart at 4.38am instead of the usual 5.46am, arriving at 8.09am.

The first London to Exeter service will depart at 6.42am instead of the usual 7.06am, arriving at 10.10am instead of 9.30am.

London Paddington to/from Taunton and travel to/from Tiverton Parkway: Usual train times for services between London Paddington and Taunton will be significantly altered. Service frequencies through to Taunton will be reduced.

Tiverton Parkway will be completely served by rail replacement road transport during the works.

Rail replacement buses will operate between Taunton and Tiverton, Exeter St David’s and Tiverton and Exeter St David’s and Taunton.

Exeter to Penzance: The service frequency on this route for both First Great Western and Cross Country trains will be reduced and train times will be significantly altered throughout the blockade.

The Exeter St David’s to Barnstaple line will operate as normal. However, passengers travelling to London, Plymouth or Bristol will need to plan journeys carefully to ensure that they make re-timed connections to main line services.

Full details of the service changes can be found by visiting www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/Taunton-Exeter-2014

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