Latest news on the Blackmore Vale Line
The rail line between Crewkerne and Exeter will be closed between Saturday 15th and Sunday 23rd September inclusive. No South Western Railway services will operate between Crewkerne and Exeter between those dates. This does not affect Great Western Railway services between Exmouth and Exeter / Paignton which will operate normally. The closure is to allow Network Rail to carry out works to reduce the impact of flooding on rail services in the future.
Please note there will be a different service level on Saturday 15th September due to the planned RMT strike action.
In addition, there will be some changes to train services between Monday 24th September and Saturday 10th November inclusive as part of the same works. For most stations between Salisbury and Exeter, this will mean some minor re-timings of trains. There will, however, be fewer station stops than normal at both Feniton and Templecombe – this is because the restricted speed of trains in the Axminster affects the timings of services at the passing locations on single track sections of the route.
There are further engineering works that will affect services on Sunday 30th September, Sunday 7th October and Sunday 21st October.
Saturday 15th to Sunday 23rd September (Inclusive)
Important: Saturday 15th September only
The RMT union have announced further strike dates, one of which is Saturday 15th September. On this date a different service pattern is expected to operate. Detailed arrangements are still to be confirmed but it is anticipated that train and replacement bus services will be similar to those operated on Saturday 18th August.
Sunday 16th to Sunday 23rd September
Buses will replace South Western Railway trains between Crewkerne and Exeter St Davids. Train services will run to a slightly amended timetable between Crewkerne and London Waterloo. The timetable for Monday 17th to Friday 21st is available on the website
Monday 24th September to Saturday 10th November (inclusive)
Most services will be retimed by a few minutes and some calls at both Feniton and Templecombe will be replaced by buses connecting at nearby stations.
The Monday to Friday changes in the above period are as follows:
Most of the alterations will be re-timing of train services, but to maintain the timetable we will need to take station stops out of some trains and replacement buses will run for these stations. See the website for detailed information.
At 15.00 hrs today the RDG announced that SWR would not be making any changes to its timetable in December.
The rail industry has reviewed its plans for the winter timetable following disruption in parts of the country after the May timetable change and will make fewer changes to ensure people get a more reliable service. Every year, the national timetable is routinely changed twice – for the summer (in May) and for the winter (in December) to allow services to adapt for seasonal variations and to enable new services to be introduced as a result of investment in the infrastructure and in new trains.
The timetable change in May 2018 was the largest in recent railway history. As a result of today’s announcement, the December 2018 timetable change will be of a similar scale to the smaller changes of recent years. Customers in many parts of the country will still see changes to their timetables this winter, while elsewhere a more cautious approach will be taken with some planned improvements being introduced more gradually.
This approach – supported by Network Rail and train operating companies – has been adopted following the difficulties encountered with the May timetable. The rail industry has reviewed its plans for December and is acting now to make sure that changes can be introduced smoothly, and that passengers can plan their journeys with confidence.
The government has accepted the rail industry’s recommended approach.
The majority of operators will introduce a new December timetable. Others will continue with their May timetable, which will still require additional work to be done. Where this is the case, minor adjustments and small locally-based changes that have limited wider impact may be made if possible.
To read more, please visit the Rail Delivery Group website by clicking here.