Trains to run again on Axminster to Exeter line

17:30 26 November 2012

Axminster railway station. Photo by Chris Carson

Axminster railway station. Photo by Chris Carson

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South West Trains expects to restore a limited service on the Waterloo to Exeter line tomorrow (Tuesday)

South West Trains expects to restore a limited service on the London to Exeter line tomorrow (Tuesday, November 27) after engineers worked around the clock to repair track damage caused by extreme weather conditions.

As a result, from the start of service in the morning, a two-hourly train service will operate between London Waterloo and Exeter St Davids. A separate two-hourly service will also operate between London Waterloo and Yeovil Junction.

Passengers are, however, advised that journeys will take longer than usual as a result of speed restrictions in place on some sections of the track. Trains are also expected to be very busy as other train operators in the region are operating extremely limited services only. For that reason, a replacement bus service will continue to operate between Yeovil Junction and Exeter St Davids throughout the day to supplement the train service.

In addition, a number of South West Trains services will not call at Feniton, Whimple and Pinhoe Stations tomorrow. However, these stations will be served by the replacement bus service.

Further details of the train service and bus timetable are available at http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/alerts.aspx

Jake Kelly, Customer Service Director for the South West Trains/Network Rail alliance said: “The weather conditions over the past week in the south west have been very challenging and we would like to thank our customers for their patience during this time. Despite suffering a setback to our work schedule as a result of heavy flooding on Saturday night, we expect to be able to re-open the line for passengers tomorrow provided the weather does not cause any further setbacks overnight tonight.

“Our staff have worked very hard to repair the track damage as well as keeping customers informed of the changes to their normal train service. We’ve had extra staff at stations and have posted regular service updates through our Twitter account and on our website. While there is still more engineering work to be carried out over the coming days and weeks, the most important thing is that we should now be in a position to run train services once again for our passengers.”

Engineers have been working since Wednesday to repair damage caused by flooding between Honiton and Axminster as well as on the embankment at Broom Level Crossing near Axminster. More bad weather overnight on Saturday caused further damage to the track. However, engineers worked throughout the night on Sunday to re-open the line as quickly as possible.

Since last Wednesday, engineers have carried out the following work:

- Creating extra drainage in affected areas

- Clearing trees from the trackside

- Installation of equipment (steel baskets) to protect the track from further landslip damage

- Clearing debris from landslip sites

- Continual monitoring of a number of affected locations

- Replacement of a ballast – a structure which underpins the railway track and provides extra support – at Broom

Passengers planning to travel are advised to visit the dedicated South West Trains webpage http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/alerts.aspx or call National Rail Enquiries for the latest service updates before they travel. Twitter users can follow South West Trains at @SW_Trains.

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