1. ITV Report

Numerous Cross Country services cancelled due to possible dangerous conditions

Photo: PA

Rail services through part of the West Country have been cancelled this afternoon - because of the danger that some trains may grind to a halt in the wet conditions.

Cross Country has cancelled all of its services between Plymouth and Exeter from 3pm to 7pm because of the possibility of waves hitting trains as they pass along the sea wall at Dawlish.

Trains run by GWR along the same route are not affected.

The problem is caused by the Voyager trains used by Cross Country operator Arriva. The locomotives have brake resistors on top of the trains which are liable to seizing up if penetrated by seawater.

The track at Dawlish in during bad weather Credit: PA

A spokesman for Cross-Country said: "Dawlish is the only stretch of our route from Penzance to Aberdeen that's affected. Less than half of one per cent of our services are cancelled as a result".

"We take advice from the Met Office and today that means we have to cancel some services rather than run the risk of the Voyager trains breaking down and blocking the line."

Four services travelling south will terminate at Exeter, with two from Plymouth and one from Paignton going north also cancelled. Tickets will be valid on alternative GWR services.

The issue affects Cross Country trains several times a year. One person who is not happy with it is Plymouth labour group leader Cllr Tudor Evans.

Cllr Evans told ITV West Country: "The trains shouldn't stop because of this - they should be able to run in all weathers."

"It's ridiculous that a major city like Plymouth should effectively be cut off to people taking a direct train from the north."