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Do you recognise these cuddly toys?

Do you recognise this teddy bear? Credit: First Great Western

Teddies lost on First Great Western trains across the West Country need your help.

Cuddly toys have broken out of the lost property vaults at Bristol Temple Meads train station in a bid to be recognised by their owners.

Should you believe one of the soft toys is yours then email teddyrescue@firstgroup.comdescribing the lost bear, highlighting any distinctive features, the direction of escape (where they were lost); their name, your name, full address and contact details.

Do you recognise this teddy bear? Credit: First Great Western

First Great Western launched Teddy Rescue in November 2014 as a way of reuniting lost toys with their owners but the train company have been unable to reunite a single bear or cuddly toy with their original family.

Lost bears and other cuddly toys not reunited with their real owner within three months will embark on other adventures with a Children’s charity.

Do you recognise this teddy bear? Credit: First Great Western

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First Great Western workers strike

First Great Western workers strike over a row about the dismissal of a colleague Credit: PA

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at First Great Western began a 24 hours strike at 4am today (Friday March 27th) over a row about the dismissal of a colleague.

The dispute include guards, train drivers and managers in Penzance.

The announcement comes in the same week the rail company was awarded a 42-month extension on its franchise by the Government.

It is clear from the two disputes we are engaged in that there is a culture of bullying and intimidation of staff rife within the money-spinning racket which is the First Great Western operation.

RMT will not allow this culture to go unchallenged and the union will defend both our individual members and the principle of workplace justice. The union remains available for talks in both disputes.

– Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary

First Great Western is reassuring passengers strike action will not impact its services.

We can confirm that a member of staff was recently dismissed for allowing the doors of a train to remain open while in passenger service, and failing to report the incident to anyone for over a month.

The member of staff was not an RMT member at the time of the incident, and we are surprised that they have decided to support these actions, which put his safety, and the safety of his colleagues and our passengers at risk.

The RMT has a track record of taking a strong stance on the safety of its members and passengers, and today's action seems inconsistent with those messages. We do not expect this action to impact services for customers, and continue to talk to the RMT about this issue.

– First Great Western

New deal for rail passengers in the south west

The Department of Transport has announced plans to improve rail services into and out of the south west. It's also announced an extension of the rail franchise for First Great Western until April 2019.

First Great Western will retain their franchise until April 2019 Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Government says it'll mean more trains into Devon and Cornwall, faster journeys between Penzance and Paddington and the introduction of 369 new carriages through the roll-out of new hi-tech Intercity Express Programme trains built by Hitachi.

“I am determined that passengers in the West, Thames Valley and South Wales get a railway that is fit for the 21st century. This is a fantastic deal which will give them more seats, more services and brand new fleets of modern trains.

“This government knows the importance of our railways. That is why they are a vital part of our long term economic plan, with over £38 billion being spent on the network between 2014 and 2019."

– Patrick McLoughlin MP

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Bad weather hits train punctuality

The bad weather saw punctuality times for trains across the country fall Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The severe winter storms took their toll on train punctuality including that of CrossCountry last month, according to official figures.

The CrossCountry train company, managed only a punctuality figure of 78.1% in February, compared with 88.8% for February 2013.

First Great Western, affected by the severe damage to the coastal track at Dawlish in Devon, had a trains-on-time figure of only 80.4% last month, compared with 91.8% in February 2013.

Since December staff dealt with more than 500 fallen trees blocking lines, 285 flooded sites and 73 landslips or line washouts.

Flooding causes disruption to rail services

There's widespread disruption to rail services in the West Country owing to flooding. There are currently no services running between St Ives and St Erth. Replacement bus services are being laid on. There are also no services between Penzance and St Erth. Tickets are being accepted on bus routes.

And there are no trains between Exeter St Davids and Plymouth owing to high tides affecting the line from Exeter to Newton Abbot.

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