Reminder: Tunnel improvement work set to close railway

Monday 11th February 2019

Train operator Great Western Railway is reminding passengers of upcoming engineering works which will affect journeys through the South West.

From Monday 18 February until Friday 8 March the route from Taunton to Exeter St Davids will be closed to rail traffic as Network Rail carries out maintenance work at Whiteball Tunnel; while further work at Marley Tunnel will mean that a reduced rail service will only be able to operate between Plymouth and Exeter St Davids.

Long distance services between the South West and London Paddington will be diverted around the work, adding up to 60 minutes to journey times, and replacement bus services will operate to intermediate stations.


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GWR Operations Director Rob Mullen said:

“We would like to thank passengers in advance for their patience, as Network Rail continues its Rail Upgrade Plan to maintain and modernise the railway in the South West.

“New Intercity Express Trains are already operating on the route, adding up to 24% more seats per train, and helping to improve punctuality. This work will ensure we can take advantage of the full benefit of these trains with a more resilient network.”

During the engineering works where trains are able to operate they may do so to a reduced and amended timetable and customers are advised to plan their journey in advance.

With more new Intercity Express Trains coming to the region older diesel stock is being replaced. Electric trains now operating in London and the Thames Valley also mean more modern diesel trains, and converted former High Speed Trains, serving local suburban routes in Devon and Cornwall adding better trains and more carriages where they are needed most.

Notes to editors

Great Western Railway (GWR) provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services. We help over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year - across South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, and large parts of Southern England.

We’re currently seeing the biggest investment in the network since Brunel so we can offer more trains, more seats, and shorter, more frequent journeys and continue the network’s heritage of helping connect more businesses to new and prosperous markets. Through a series of initiatives we aim to be a good neighbour to the communities we serve and are committed to making a positive social impact in those regions. Learn how we're Building a Greater West at GWR is a FirstGroup company.