Updated November 2021

What’s happening

Network Rail will be working in the West Cornwall area this December to renew two sections of track on the main line between Truro and Penzance. Track renewals are an essential part of maintaining the railway to ensure trains are able to run more reliably. 

To allow this work to take place, train services on the Cornish main line and some branch lines will be changed, with replacement buses operating.

What you need to know:

From Monday 13 to Thursday 16 December 2021:
  • buses will replace trains between Truro and Penzance for the full period
  • buses will also replace trains between St Erth and St Ives from Tuesday 14 to Thursday 16 December only
  • an amended, hourly train service will continue to run between Truro and Plymouth with only minor alterations further into Devon
  • replacement buses will depart at different times to normal trains, journey times will also increase

Map of train routes affected by planned engineering works in West Cornwall 2021 November changes

Download a larger version of this map

Friday 17 December

The railway in Cornwall will be fully open from this date, however, as this will be the first normal weekday since the timetable change on Sunday 12 December there may be minor alterations to trains. So please check carefully before travelling.

Our travel advice

  • check train times carefully – online journey planners are not currently showing the revised plans. They are due to be updated with the latest information from 5 November
  • allow plenty of time – journeys involving a replacement bus will take longer than normal
  • check where replacement buses depart from – they may not stop near the station at some locations. See below for more details

How trains will be affected

One train an hour will run between Plymouth and Truro during this period with additional services at peak times. 

The table below gives a breakdown on the types of services that will be running:

Service type Frequency
Long-distance services One train every two hours
Local services One train every two hours, with additional services at peak times
CrossCountry services Two trains a day in each direction (one in the morning, and one in the late evening) 
St Ives Bay line services
(St Erth to St Ives)

Trains will continue to run on Monday 13 December only. Buses will replace trains on this line from Tuesday 14 to Thursday 16 December

Maritime Line

(Truro to Falmouth Docks)
Trains will continue to run but most services will run at different times to normal. Check carefully before travelling

Replacement buses will be timed to connect with trains at Truro.

Night Riviera Sleeper

During this period, the Night Riviera will continue to run between London Paddington and Truro.

Replacement buses will run between Truro and Penzance to connect with the sleeper in both directions.

The First Class lounges at Penzance and Truro will be open as normal. These are available to sleeper customers with cabin reservations.

Replacement coaches and buses

Our replacement services will provide a great alternative during the upgrades. Arrival and departure times will usually be timed to connect with train services, ensuring journey times are kept to a minimum.

Route Frequency Journey
Truro - St Erth - Penzance Hourly (additional services at peak hours) From Truro to: St Erth- 45 minutes
Penzance - 60 minutes
Truro- Redruth - Camborne - Hayle* - St Erth - Penzance Hourly (additional services at peak hours) From Truro to: 
Redruth - 25 minutes
Camborne - 40 minutes
Hayle - 55 minutes
St Erth - 65 minutes
Penzance - 80 minutes
St Erth - Lelant** - Carbis Bay - St Ives
(Tuesday 14 to Thursday 16 December only)
Half-hourly From St Erth to:
Lelant - 10 (minutes)
Carbis Bay - 15 minutes
St Ives  - 25 minutes

* Not all buses will stop at this station
** Not all buses will stop at this station. One bus a day in each direction will also stop at Lelant Saltings (5 minutes journey time from St Erth)

Where to catch our replacement services

The table below shows the bus stop location for all stations affected:

Station Replacement bus location

Front of the station

Redruth Front of the station
Camborne Front of the station
Hayle To Penzance - bus stop on Penpol Terrace near Lloyds Bank
To Truro - bus stop on Penpol Terrace near the McColls store
St Erth Front of the station
Penzance Penzance bus station (outside railway station) 
Lelant Saltings Woodlands bus stop on the main road (A3074)
Lelant Bus stops on the main road (A3074) in the village centre, outside the village hall
Carbis Bay Outside the entrance to the station car park
St Ives Malakoff bus stop, The Terrace

Have any questions about our replacement buses?

Please visit our dedicated web page  for all the information you need for travelling on replacement buses including:

  • types of replacement buses we operate
  • travelling with animals, bikes, pushchairs or large items of luggage
  • changing between train and bus
  • accessibility

Car parking

To accommodate our replacement bus operation, there will be parking alterations at:
  • Camborne - The north (ticket office) side car park will be closed. The main car park on the south side will remain open
  • Truro – the main car park will have reduced spaces

Help with your journey

If you are not able to travel on our replacement services, an accessible taxi can be arranged for you. You can do this by:
  • booking in advance at GWR.com/PassengerAssist
  • speaking to a member of staff at the station on the day of travel*
  • use the Help Point available at all of our stations on the day of travel*

*please allow additional time as an accessible taxi may not be available immediately. Booking in advance is the best way to ensure a smooth journey.

Frequently asked questions

  • Where is the work taking place?
  • What work is being done?
  • Which services are affected?
  • I’m travelling between London and Cornwall. Will I need to use a bus?
  • What trains will run?
  • Are trains between Truro and Falmouth affected?
  • Why are there fewer trains running on the mainline?
  • Will the First Class Lounges still be open at Truro and Penzance?
  • Where can I find timetable information?
  • When can I book Advance tickets or make a seat reservation?
  • Are train tickets accepted on replacement buses?

Still have questions?

If there is something you would like to ask us, get in touch with our team on social media. Search for ‘Great Western Railway’ on Facebook or Twitter.