Unfortunately South Western Railway (SWR) will need to introduce a revised temporary timetable on the West of England line from the start of September (currently expected to be 5th September), due to a speed restriction on the line in the Tisbury area in addition to the existing one in the Crewkerne area.
The key points to note are:
Services between Salisbury and Yeovil Junction will continue to run on an hourly basis to / from London Waterloo but with some journey times extended and timings at intermediate stations altered.
There will continue to be through services between Exeter and London Waterloo but these will only run every two hours instead of the normal hourly service (in effect one train every two hours will extend from Yeovil Junction to / from Exeter)
Journey times between Salisbury and Exeter will also unfortunately be extended by around an hour.
A detailed timetable will be published as soon as possible but requires review and approval from Network Rail. We will let you know more details as soon as we can.
The length of the temporary timetable is still to be confirmed but is expected to continue into October subject to future weather conditions and Network Rail (NR) being able to carry out mitigation measures.
You may have already seen a stakeholder message from Network Rail earlier today explaining the problem behind the speed restriction in the Tisbury area. One of the embankments upon which the track runs is built on clay and has experienced significant movement and shrinkage due to the exceptional weather conditions. This in turn has caused problems with the track.
The speed restriction on this lengthy single line section causes significant issues for the timetable which you may have experienced in recent weeks. Unfortunately, this has led to quite lengthy delays on many services with some station calls needing to be modified as a result. SWR and NR have decided to introduce the temporary timetable to provide greater certainty to stakeholders and customers and improve the reliability of the service.
We will provide more details during the week beginning 29th August including a more detailed explanation behind the new timetable, a communications plan (which we will need the support of stakeholders to help maximise awareness) and information on how we plan to manage capacity on the available services, particularly recognising the start of the new school and college terms. There will also be further information on how the new timetable will be integrated with the existing planned engineering blockade between Axminster and Pinhoe later in September
Please accept our apologies for the disruption this will cause. We will work closely with NR to answer any queries you have in the meantime but otherwise will provide further information to you as soon as possible.