There are number of upgrade projects in the South West this Autumn.

We have put all the details on a dedicated web page but I thought it would help to list the key dates and work planned:

  • Sunday 30 September – Exeter St Davids to Exmouth (level crossing maintenance)
  • Monday 8 October – 11 October – Newbury to Reading (final weekday work on electrification to Newbury)
  • Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 October – West Cornwall (signalling upgrades)
  • Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 November – Par to Newquay and Castle Cary / Yeovil Pen Mill to Weymouth (track renewal)
  • Sunday 11 November (until 1600) – Newton Abbot to Paignton (track renewal)
  • Saturday 24 and Sunday 25th November, and Saturday 1 and Sunday 2nd December – East Cornwall (signalling upgrades)

Looking ahead to next year, there will be weekend work on the Barnstaple line as well as West Cornwall and West Devon in early 2019.

Network Rail will also be working on Marley tunnels (South Devon) and Whiteball tunnel (Devon/Somerset border) from mid-February until early March.   The tunnels are in need of important maintenance work to safeguard their use for the years ahead. One line will remain open at Marley, permitting a limited service, whilst Whiteball will be fully closed throughout. Full details are on the SWupgrade page.

As you can see there is a lot happening on the railway in the next 6 months. As well as the infrastructure work we will continue to roll out our new Intercity Express Trains on routes to the South West throughout the Autumn and into the new year.

The joint investment in track and train will mean greater capacity and together give us the opportunity to plan for faster, more frequent services.  Getting there is not pain free, and we recognise that we must also maintain a focus on improving performance and maintaining a stable railway during the upgrades.

If you would like more information on this, or on the work we are doing with Network Rail to improve performance, please let me know and we will be happy to help.

Best wishes


Mark Hopwood | Managing Director | Great Western Railway
Milford House | Swindon | Wiltshire | SN1 1HL
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