The line between Taunton and Exeter St Davids forms an important route for long-distance and commuter services running to and from the south west, with more than 100 trains using it on most days. In December 2019, we launched a new timetable on this route, providing more seats and a faster average journey time between London and the south west.
To ensure we can continue to provide our service, our partners at Network Rail will be renewing tracks in the Tiverton Parkway area to make the railway more resilient, reducing the possibility of delays to your journey.
Between Monday 28 September and Friday 2 October:
the line between Taunton and Exeter St Davids will be closed to trains
trains will continue to run between London Paddington and the south west, using a different route between Castle Cary and Exeter St Davids
replacement buses will run between Taunton, Tiverton Parkway and Exeter St Davids
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 or from Cornwall - most journeys will require a change of trains at Plymouth
wear a face covering - since 15 June you require one 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
a direct service will run roughly every two hours between London Paddington and Plymouth, using a different route between Castle Cary and Exeter St Davids. Journey times will be extended by about 60 minutes
most trains will only run between London Paddington and Plymouth so journeys to/from stations in Cornwall will often require a change of trains
long-distance services to/from Paignton will be replaced by local trains
a limited service will continue to run between London Paddington and Taunton
customers travelling to/from Tiverton Parkway will need to use replacement buses running between Taunton and Exeter St Davids
some stopping trains from Taunton towards Bristol Temple Meads will depart Taunton slightly earlier than normal
departure times for trains between Bristol and Weymouth will be changed to provide space for our diverted trains. Check carefully before travelling
in addition to the above:
The 06:44 Weymouth to Filton Abbey Wood will not call at Avoncliff (08:31) or Freshford (08:33). An earlier service will call additionally at Avoncliff at 08:15. This already calls at Freshford at 08:17
The 12:42 Gloucester to Frome will terminate at Westbury
a half-hourly train service will continue to run between Plymouth and Penzance. Some departure times may be different to normal
We will provide accessible coaches with air-conditioning/cooling and comfortable seats on all journeys.
Arrival and departure times at interchange stations will usually be timed to connect with train services, ensuring journey times are kept to a minimum. We’ll also have staff on hand to help you find your way between the train and bus.
Replacement buses will run hourly on the following routes:
Taunton – Exeter St Davids (non-stop, 50 minutes journey time)
Taunton – Tiverton Parkway – Exeter St Davids (operated by CrossCountry, 80 minutes journey time)
Tiverton Parkway – Exeter St Davids (40 minutes journey time)
Where to catch replacement buses
Replacement buses will depart from outside the station entrance at Exeter St Davids and Tiverton Parkway.
At Taunton, buses will depart from the north side station car park, near the ramp access to Platform 5/6.
Parking your car at Taunton
Due to the ongoing car park and station renovation works at Taunton, spaces at the station car park will be temporarily reduced to allow us to operate replacement buses. Only the higher level of the main station car park will be available during the engineering works.
Car park spaces for disabled customers will be temporarily moved to the location of the 20-minute waiting bays, nearer the entrance to the station. The total number of spaces will also be temporarily reduced from six to three.
Pick-up spaces will be temporarily relocated to a small car park opposite the Kilkenny car park. This will be clearly signposted. Drop-off spaces will be temporarily relocated to the taxi bays.
Usually park at Tiverton Parkway?
We advise you to continue parking at Tiverton Parkway and use the replacement buses to travel to Taunton.
Due to the limited space available at Taunton, you may find it difficult to park your car near the station.
If you are not able to travel on one of our replacement bus services, we will arrange an accessible taxi for you.
Travelling from Castle Cary
Only Platform 1 is step-free accessible at Castle Cary. This is normally used by all trains travelling towards London Paddington.
As some trains will be using the diversionary route between Castle Cary and Exeter St Davids, not all trains to London Paddington will depart from Platform 1; trains that come from Penzance/Plymouth will leave from Platform 2 which is over the footbridge.
If you are unable to access the station, we will provide a taxi to/from the nearest convenient station. Speak to our Assisted Travel team to book this in advance, or speak to a member of staff at the station on the day.
No. About one train every two hours will continue to run directly between London Paddington and Plymouth, using a different route between Exeter St Davids and Castle Cary. Due to capacity restrictions on this line, we cannot run any more than this.
If you’re travelling to/from stations in Cornwall, you will have to change trains at Plymouth on most journeys.
The route our diverted trains will use between Exeter St Davids and Castle Cary is mostly single track. A small delay can have a large knock-on effect, so it is really important that our trains are on time before entering this section. Starting our trains at Plymouth reduces the risk of delays and helps us to provide a more reliable service.