The line between Exeter St Davids and Exmouth is one of our most popular branch lines, taking you from the city centre to the seaside in just 30 minutes. The half-hourly frequency of trains throughout most of the day gives flexibility for the millions of commuters and leisure travellers who use the line every year.
To maintain this important service, our partners at Network Rail will be renewing a major junction between St James’ Park and Polsloe Bridge. This work will help to keep services on the branch line running reliably and reduce the possibility of delays to your journey.
Between Sunday 25 and Friday 30 October:
the line between Exeter Central and Exmouth/Pinhoe will be closed to trains
replacement buses will run between Exeter St Davids and Exmouth/Honiton
a limited train service will continue to run between Exeter St Davids and Exeter Central
On Sunday 8 November:
to complete the works, buses will again replace trains between Exeter St Davids and Exmouth/Honiton.
Our travel advice
plan ahead – train and replacement 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
travelling to/from Barnstaple – most trains will start/terminate at Exeter St Davids instead of Exeter Central or St James’ Park
wear a face covering – As of 15 June, you are required to wear a face covering in order to travel by public transport. This includes replacement buses
adhere to social distancing guidelines – We’ll have markers and signs around our stations but please also be mindful of this when boarding/leaving trains and replacement buses
How this will affect my journey:
Journeys between Exeter and Exmouth
replacement buses will run between Exeter St Davids and Exmouth
buses will call at most stations on the branch line
journey times will be extended
Journeys between Exeter and Barnstaple
trains will continue to run on the branch line, however, most services will start/terminate at Exeter St Davids instead of St James’ Park
change at Exeter St Davids for trains to Exeter Central or replacement buses to St James’ Park and beyond
most trains to Barnstaple will depart from Platform 2 at Exeter St Davids instead of Platform 1 or 3
Journeys between Exeter and Paignton
one train an hour will continue to run every 30 minutes between Exeter Central and Paignton
all other services will terminate at Exeter St Davids, so check carefully before travelling
change at Exeter St Davids for replacement buses towards Exmouth
Journeys on South Western Railway services
replacement buses will run hourly between Honiton and Exeter St Davids, stopping at Cranbrook, Pinhoe and Exeter Central
South Western Railway services to/from London Waterloo will start/terminate at Honiton
a shuttle train service will also run once every two hours between Honiton and Pinhoe, stopping at Feniton, Whimple and Cranbrook
Our replacement buses will provide a great alternative during this time. We will provide accessible buses with comfortable seats on all journeys.
Arrival and departure times will be different to normal train times so check carefully before you travel.
If you’re changing between train and bus at Exeter St Davids we’ll have staff on hand to help you find your way.
Replacement buses will run on the following routes:
Exeter St Davids – Exmouth (stopping at Exeter Central, Digby & Sowton, Topsham and Lympstone Commando) – Every 30 minutes
Exeter St Davids – Exmouth (stopping at all stations) - Hourly
Exeter St Davids – Honiton (stopping at Exeter Central, Pinhoe and Cranbrook) – Hourly, operated by South Western Railway
Where to catch replacement buses
Replacement buses depart from
Exeter St Davids
Front of station
Front of station
Pinn Lane, outside station entrance
Front of station
Outside main station entrance
St James' Park
B3212 Blackboy Road bus stops
Widgery Road bus stops on Pinhoe Road
Digby & Sowton
Station car park
Bus stops outside community centre
To be confirmed
A376 bus stops near entrance to training camp
Bottom of Station Hill near The Swan public house
Station car park
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, we will arrange an accessible taxi for you. You can do this by:
booking in advance on our Assisted Travel site
speaking to a member of staff at a station
using the Help Point available at all our stations
Unless you are travelling from a station on the branch line between Exeter and Exmouth, or use South Western Railway services, you will still be able to reach Exeter Central by train. You may need to change trains at Exeter St Davids if travelling from a service from Barnstaple.
Network Rail require one line between Exeter St Davids and their work site to run engineering trains. As a result, we will only have one line to run our trains on between Exeter St Davids and Exeter Central.
To avoid congestion, most services to/from Barnstaple and one train an hour from Paignton will need to start/terminate at Exeter St Davids. However, trains running between Exeter Central and Exeter St Davids will be timed to connect with most services, so you won’t have too long to wait.
You can find train/bus times when planning a journey on our train times page. You can also produce your own printable timetable by going to nationalrail.co.uk. Timetable information for this engineering work is expected to be available from 14 August.