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Travel: problems on trains between Plymouth and Totnes

Train services between Plymouth and Totnes are being disrupted while engineers are checking out a problem on the line.

First Great Western are organising replacement buses, but at the moment passengers are having to make their own way between the two stations.

Trains from Totnes to Plymouth are not affected.

It's hoped that the situation will be resolved by midday.

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Rail passengers face Christmas misery

Engineering works will affect services to and from Devon and Cornwall Credit: PA

Rail passengers in the South West face travel misery over Christmas because of engineering works.

Services to and from Devon and Cornwall will end earlier on Christmas Eve - and some will be diverted causing long delays.

Passengers are advised to check before they travel.

Misery for rail passengers

Rail passengers travelling between the West Country and London Paddington have faced long delays after signalling equipment was damaged near Slough.

Three quarters of the trains running between Plymouth and Paddington were cancelled today.

Trains leaving Plymouth for London have been badly affected by the disruption, which has seen the usual 20 to 25 trains running on the line per hour be reduced to just four per hour.

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First Great Western deal under fire

The rail union the RMT has claimed today that the government's First Great Western deal will cost taxpayers almost £250 million.

The union says the extension for the West Coast mainline will only have around £30 million paid in premiums.

Premiums on the last 2 years of the previous contract came to £279 million, meaning the public could miss out on a quarter of a billion under the current deal.

First Great Western train Credit: ITV News West Country

First Great Western has west rail franchise extended

First Great Western has had the South West rail franchise extended Credit: PA

FirstGroup's First Great Western train company will keep the franchise to operate trains from London to the South West for another two years.

The Department for Transport said it would last until September 2015.

Under the agreement, passengers will expect to see improvements to services including greater seating and sleeper carriage capacity and an improved wi-fi coverage.

Train company's contract expected to be extended

It's expected that train passengers in the region will hear tomorrow that First Great Western's contract has been extended for a further two years.

The Government has been forced to extend it after the last round of franchise negotiations collapsed in chaos.

But there are worries that services may be reduced, and there'll be further delays to much needed investment.

John Andrews reports:

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