Rail services between Exeter St Davids and Exeter Central have been halted owing to what's being described as a 'trespass incident'. Routes operated by South West Trains and First Great Western have been affected.
Engineering works are disrupting rail services from London Paddington to Exeter St Davids, Plymouth and Penzance. Trains are being diverted to run to and from London Waterloo and won't call at Reading, Newbury, Bedwyn or Pewsey,
The Tarka rail line between Crediton and Barnstaple will be closed tomorrow [Sunday] until Wednesday [13th].
Network Rail will be relaying bits of track and making bridge improvements. During the closure, First Great Western will operate train services between Exeter and Crediton, with a bus replacement service serving all stations north of Crediton, through to Barnstaple.
The line will close on Sunday at 11pm and open on Wednesday at 3pm.
FirstGroup: Rail announcement will mean improvements
FirstGroup has issued a statement in response to the Department for Transport's decision to withdraw its bidding competition for the Great Western rail franchise, which it currently holds.
It says the franchise to run services to and from the west country will be extended to the end of October.
First is also in discussions to continue the franchise for a further two years after October. It says this will enable :
Continuity of service
Continued improvements for passengers in this longer period
Major network improvements, including electrification and the introduction of new rolling stock associated with the project
Significant upgrade work to the line, stations and signalling
“We have also taken significant steps to tackle overcrowding, although there is still much to do on these routes which are among the most congested in the country. Today’s announcement will also allow us to work closely with the DfT and our industry partners to deliver the much needed new capacity as efficiently and effectively as possible.”
The Department for Transport has scrapped plans for a bidding competition for the franchise to run Great Western rail services.
It was put on hold last October after the fiasco over the West Coast Main Line franchise.
Current operator First Great Western has had its contract extended until October and negotiations will start on a new two-year contract with the company, while plans for the longer term will be set out in the spring.