Upgrading the railway in the South West of England

This year we will begin to deliver more seats and improved reliability across the South West. New Intercity Express Trains, designed for Devon and Cornwall, plus electrification of the route through Newbury will mean journeys to London will be up to 14 minutes quicker compared to now.

In recent years, the railway in the South West has been affected by a series of weather events which had an impact on our ability to run trains.

To help reduce the risk of flooding during heavy rainfall, Network Rail will be carrying out work at Cowley Bridge near Exeter between Tuesday 12 and Thursday 14 June 2018.

They will also use this time to replace track on the Tarka Line to Barnstaple, improving the ride quality for customers travelling on this important route to North Devon.

How your journey will be affected

The lines from Exeter St Davids to Tiverton Parkway and Barnstaple will be closed throughout the work. Some services will be diverted, and replacement buses will run on some routes.

London Paddington – Exeter St Davids, Plymouth and Penzance
One direct train approximately every two hours – diverted along an alternative route. Journey times increased by up to 50 minutes.
London Paddington – Taunton and Tiverton Parkway
One train approximately every two hours – trains will start/terminate at Tiverton Parkway.
Exeter St Davids – Penzance
Trains will continue to run, but there will be some changes to the timetable.
GWR trains between Bristol Temple Meads and Taunton  Trains will continue to run, but there will be some changes to the timetable.

CrossCountry services 

Trains from Bristol, Birmingham and the North of England will terminate at Taunton.

Trains from Penzance and Plymouth will terminate at Exeter St Davids.

Buses between Taunton and Exeter St Davids will link these services. 

Exeter St Davids – Barnstaple  Buses will replace trains. 
South Western Railway services  Trains will run at different times than usual. Please check carefully before travelling. 

Replacement buses and coaches

Taunton/Tiverton Parkway to Exeter St Davids
Approximately one journey an hour.

Journey times from Exeter St Davids to:
  • Tiverton Parkway – 45 minutes
  • Taunton – 1 hour 10 minutes
Exeter St Davids to Barnstaple
Approximately one journey an hour, calling at Crediton, Copplestone, Morchard Road, Eggesford and Umberleigh.

Selected services will call at other intermediate stations.

Journey times increased by up to 25 minutes.
Crediton to Yeoford  Approximately one journey an hour, timed to connect with buses to/from Exeter St Davids. 

Night Riviera Sleeper

The Night Riviera will continue to run each night, using an alternative route between Exeter St Davids and Reading.

The train will not call at Taunton on the following mornings:

  • Towards London Paddington – Wednesday 13, Thursday 14 and Friday 15 June
  • From London Paddington – Tuesday 12, Wednesday 13, Thursday 14 and Friday 15 June

Fares and ticketing information

Customers with Anytime, Off-Peak or Super Off-Peak tickets to ‘London Terminals’ may also use their ticket on South Western Railway services from Exeter St Davids to London Waterloo.

Tickets routed ‘via Honiton’ can also be used on diverted GWR services that call at either Honiton, Axminster or Yeovil Junction. They can’t be used on trains that do not stop at these stations.

Local buses

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

Route number  Valid tickets accepted on journeys between
1/1A Exeter – Collumpton – Uffculme – Tiverton Parkway – Tiverton 
55/55A  Exeter – Stoke Canon – Bickleigh – Tiverton 
155  Exeter – Tiverton – Barnstaple 
5/5A/5B/5C  Exeter – Newton St Cyres – Crediton 
5A Exeter – Copplestone – Okehampton 
5B Exeter – Copplestone – Barnstaple – Bideford
5C Exeter – Copplestone – Morchard Road – Lapford – Eggesford 
6A  Exeter – Okehampton – Launceston – Bude 
Exeter – Okehampton – Bude 

For local bus times, download the Stagecoach bus app.

Season ticket holders

If you plan to make different arrangements, such as working from home, or taking holiday, you can buy season tickets for odd periods. For example, from Monday 2 April to Monday 11 June.

Car parking

In order to run replacement buses, car park spaces at the following stations will be reduced:

Exeter St Davids – forecourt car park

Tiverton Parkway – overflow car park, closest to the station

Taunton – south side car park

Permit holders (one month or longer) at Barnstaple and Exeter St Davids may park at Tiverton Parkway during the work. Permits will be valid in the overflow car park only.

Assisted travel icon Assisted travel

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

More work planned for later in 2018

What is happening
Truro - Penzance
Saturday 13 and
Sunday 14 October 2018
Signal installation

Par - Newquay (The Atlantic Coast Line)

Saturday 3 and
Sunday 4 November 2018
Track replacement 
Newton Abbot – Paignton (The Riviera Line) Saturday 10 and
Sunday 11 November 2018 
Track replacement 
Liskeard - Par
Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 November
Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 December 2018
Track replacement

Check your journey