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New trains 'are brilliant news for the South West'

The leader of Plymouth City Council has welcomed the news of 29 new long-distance trains for the London-Cornwall route.

First Great Western's franchise has been extended into 2019 Credit: PA

"The last time this part of the network saw the same scale of investment in rolling stock was 40 years ago" said Tudor Evans.

"it’s fantastic to see us at the front of the queue for new train technology instead of getting hand-me-downs from other areas".


Government gives the go-ahead for new train fleet for South West

The Government has given the go-ahead for a new fleet of trains between London and Cornwall. Credit: ITV News

The Government has given the go-ahead for a new £360 million fleet of trains to run between London and Cornwall from 2018.

First Great Western will be able to buy 29 new long-distance trains to serve the South West, which was part of a transport deal announced in March.

The Department for Transport says the trains will be more powerful, greener and more efficient than the existing 40-year-old trains on the route.

It's been estimated that journey times will be cut from London to Exeter by up to 5 minutes, Plymouth up to 6 minutes, and Penzance up to 14 minutes.

These new trains will make a real difference to the millions of commuters, business travellers and tourists who use this route every year.

This will not only mean better journeys for customers, it will also help to secure long-term economic growth across the country.

Like the new IEP trains serving cities in the North of England, this new fleet will help to open up the region for investment.

– Rail minister Claire Perry

Rumours of fly's death greatly exaggerated

The fly that's not as extinct as first thought Credit: Rob Wolton

A fly believed to be extinct for 150 years has been found in Devon.

The insect, Rhaphium pectinatum, has been recorded only once in the UK before in 1868. It was discovered alive and well and living on Devon Wildlife Trust’s Old Sludge beds nature reserve, near Exeter.

I took a recent trip to Devon Wildlife Trust’s Old Sludge Beds nature reserve on the outskirts of Exeter specifically to look for flies. Imagine my surprise when I examined my catch that evening to find it included a fly that was presumed extinct in Britain, not having been seen for 147 years!

Definitely one to add to the list of Devon specialities.

Finding the fly here demonstrates the importance of the work the Devon Wildlife Trust does looking after these unusual and special habitats.

– Rob Wolton, Naturalist

Some people may think the only good fly is a dead one but they are important they are for food for other creatures, pollination... and recycling waste.


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