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Trouble on the tracks: Train travel update
9:14am Monday 10th February 2014 in Devon
There is still an array of problems on train services in and out of Devon and Cornwall.
Inspection of a landslip site near Crewkerne, on the railway between Yeovil and Exeter, has revealed that it is safe to run trains at a reduced speed.
This allowed a limited service to begin between Exeter and Waterloo on Sunday afternoon, with the first train departing Exeter at 12.25pm. Work is progressing to get diverted trains from the Westbury/Paddington line moving over the Yeovil route as soon as possible.
Elsewhere in Somerset, the routes from Bridgwater and Castle Cary are still under water caused by the flooded River Parrett and are being monitored by Network Rail engineers.
Meanwhile, work to protect the damaged sea wall site in Dawlish from the sea is going well in between high tides. A row of shipping containers is being put in place and filled with rubble to provide a breakwater, while concrete spraying has continued, in order to protect the vulnerable sub-soil.
Passengers intending to travel on routes through the Thames Valley tomorrow morning are advised to check before they travel, as flood warnings are in place for the region. For information on travel times and up-to-the-minute disruption check with your operator or at www.nationalrail.co.uk.
Following a drop in floodwater at Athelney the railway line between Exeter and London Paddington, via Newbury, is due to reopen today, Monday, February 10.
The line between Taunton and Bridgwater however remains closed due to flooding, as does the line between Exeter and Newton Abbot due to the sea wall collapse at Dawlish. Flooding is also expected to affect rail services between Oxford and Didcot Parkway.
Limited services will start between London Paddington and Exeter in the late morning, with Exeter to London Paddington services starting at lunchtime.
Coaches will continue to offer direct services to Exeter St Davids and Plymouth from Bristol Parkway, connecting with South Wales trains from London, and with services from the Midlands and the North until the mainline reopens to Taunton. Journey times will continue to be significantly extended.
Timetable plans for next week have been revised and we now expect the following to operate:
• Services to Somerset, Devon and Cornwall via Bristol Temple Meads will terminate at Weston-super-Mare, with a limited, hourly service extending to Bridgwater
• Coaches will operate between Bridgwater and Taunton
• Trains will run between Penzance and Plymouth, and Newton Abbot, but with some service changes - passengers should check journey times carefully before travelling
• An hourly rail shuttle will operate between Taunton and Exeter St Davids calling at Tiverton Parkway
• An hourly all stations rail shuttle will run between Newton Abbot and Paignton
• Customers from Bristol Temple Meads to intermediate stations between Exeter St Davids and Dawlish are advised to travel to Bristol Parkway, for a direct bus to Exeter St Davids, and then connecting bus services
• All Cornish branch lines will run as normal (subject to weather conditions), with some revised timings to optimise connections with main line services
Flooding at Hinksey has now reached a position that we are expecting rail services to be affected tomorrow. We will operate a rail shuttle service between Oxford and Didcot, calling at Radley for as long as we can. Taxis will be provided for customers using Appleford and Culham stations. Coaches have also been ordered and will be used to support demand with an estimated journey time of 90 minutes.
If the line closes coaches will operate between Oxford and Didcot calling Appleford, Culham and Radley. However, roads to the intermediate stations can also be flooded. If this happens it will not be possible to provide a replacement coach or taxi service for these stations.
Following substantial damage to the rail infrastructure at Dawlish, there will be continued significant disruption to train services.
Network Rail has informed us that this damage will take at least six weeks to rectify depending on the results of further inspection and any additional damage that may be caused by this weekends adverse weather. Normal train services will not be able to run between Exeter St Davids and Newton Abbot while this work takes place.
Direct coaches run:
• Between Plymouth and Exeter St Davids
• Between Exeter St Davids and Newton Abbot/Totnes
• Between Plymouth and Bristol Parkway
• Between Exeter St Davids and Bristol Parkway
• Between Bridgwater and Taunton
Coaches calling at intermediate stations run:
• Between Exeter St Davids calling at Exeter St Thomas, Starcross, Dawlish Warren, Dawlish, Teignmouth and Newton Abbot
• Between Castle Cary and Exeter St Davids calling at Taunton from Monday connecting to departures from Paddington between 1506 and 1945.
- The Night Riviera sleeper service is suspended until further notice.
- The Pullman Dining services are suspended until further notice.
- Additional car parking will be available at Exeter St Davids station from Monday. We are also working to provide additional spaces at Tiverton Parkway. However this is not likely to be in place until later in the week. There will therefore be pressure on Tiverton Parkway car park at the beginning of the week.