Improving the Tarka line

In December we will be introducing an improved timetable on the Tarka line featuring an hourly service throughout the day between Exeter Central and Barnstaple. We will also introduce newer trains to the line, improving capacity and comfort.

Between Saturday 26 October and Friday 8 November, Network Rail is upgrading the track between Barnstaple and Crediton. This will provide a smoother, more comfortable journey and improve reliability on this important route.

  • buses will replace trains between Barnstaple and Crediton
  • trains will continue to run between Crediton, Exeter and Exmouth
  • direct buses will run between Barnstaple and Exeter Central during weekday peak hours

Barnstaple map

Our travel advice

  • plan ahead – bus times will be different to normal train times. Check carefully before you travel
  • allow plenty of time – journeys involving a replacement bus will take longer than normal
  • special peak-time buses – to make your journey easier, we are providing direct buses between Barnstaple and Exeter Central during weekday peak hours
  • travelling to/from Yeoford – a separate shuttle bus will run between Yeoford and Crediton. Change at Crediton for onward connections

Replacement buses

Our replacement buses will provide a great alternative during the upgrades. We will provide a mix of coaches and buses on all journeys between Barnstaple and Crediton. Services between Yeoford and Crediton will be operated by a small bus.

Arrival and departure times at Crediton will be timed to connect with train services, ensuring journey times are kept to a minimum.

Where do I catch the replacement bus?

Station Buses to Barnstaple Buses to Crediton
Barnstaple N/A The front of the station
Chapelton The lay-by opposite the station approach road The station approach road entrance
Umberleigh The station forecourt The station forecourt
Portsmouth Arms Opposite the Portsmouth Arms public house Outside the Portsmouth Arms public house
Kings Nympton The station approach road entrance Fortescue Cross - junction with the B3226
Eggesford The front of the station The front of the station
Lapford Lapford Cross – junction with Kelland Hill Lapford Cross - junction with Popes Lane
Morchard Road The bus lay-by opposite the Devonshire Dumpling public house Outside the Devonshire Dumpling public house
Copplestone The northbound bus stop on the one-way system, near the overbridge The Sunnyside bus stop on the one-way system, near the overbridge
Yeoford N/A Outside The Duck public house
Crediton Outside the Platform 2 station entrance Outside the Platform 1 station entrance (buses from Crediton to Exeter run only at the end of the day)
Exeter St Davids (peak-time buses) Front of the station N/A
Exeter Central (peak-time buses) Front of the station N/A

Ticket acceptance on local buses

Stagecoach South West will accept all valid rail tickets on the following services:

Routes Valid between   Daytime frequency
155 Exeter – Tiverton – Barnstaple One bus every two hours 
5A Exeter – Newton St Cyres – Crediton – Copplestone – Okehampton One bus every two hours
5B Exeter – Newton St Cyres – Crediton – Copplestone – Barnstaple – Bideford One bus every two hours
5C Exeter – Newton St Cyres – Crediton – Copplestone – Morchard Road – Lapford – Eggesford Hourly
6 Exeter – Okehampton – Bude Up to 6 journeys a day 
6A Exeter – Okehampton – Launceston – Bude Up to 7 journeys a day 
For detailed times, please visit stagecoachbus.com.

Help with your journey

It’s best to let us know in advance if you need help. To find out more, visit GWR.com/AssistedTravel.

If you are not able to travel on one of our replacement bus services, an accessible taxi can be arranged for you free of charge. You can do this by:

  • booking in advance on our Assisted Travel site
  • speaking to a member of staff at the station
  • using the Help Point available at all our stations

Step-free reduction at Exeter St Davids

During the time of these upgrades, the lift serving Platform 5/6 will be out of action.

Step-free access is still available by means of a foot crossing but you must be accompanied by a member of our station staff to do this.

Please allow additional time for arriving at/leaving the station.

Improvements to the Tarka Line timetable

From 15 December this year we are introducing a new timetable on the Tarka Line, featuring:

  • an hourly service throughout the day between Barnstaple and Exeter
  • newer trains, with air-conditioning, more comfortable seats and accessible toilets
  • all trains starting/terminating at Exeter St Davids or Exeter Central. This should mean fewer delays caused by problems elsewhere on the network

Click here to find out more.

Further upgrades planned in 2020

Network Rail has planned further upgrade work to take place between Barnstaple and Crediton from Monday 30 March to Sunday 5 April. Completion of this work will allow for some speed limits on the line to be raised, improving the reliability of the service.

We will provide more information on this upgrade later this year.