Biggest Change for 40 Years – Check your journey
The new December railway timetable for Devon, Cornwall, and Somerset has been made public, offering faster journey times, more seats, and more frequent services to key locations.
Regular users are being asked to check their new journey times ahead of the biggest timetable change on the network since 1976. GWR’s Intercity Express Trains (IETs) will take advantage of infrastructure improvements to run to deliver a more consistent service pattern throughout the day, offering faster journey times and more frequent services from Sunday 15 December this year.
The planned improvements are so significant, especially for those who travel regularly and used to catching a particular service every day, that GWR has launched an awareness campaign to highlight the changes ahead, and make sure customers are prepared. It is encouraging customers to find out more at www.gwr.com/timetable2019.
Richard Burningham from the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership said:
“It is not just the journey time savings in long distance journeys to London, it is also about the significant improvement to many local trains across the two counties. It is no exaggeration to say that Devon and Cornwall local services will be the best they have ever been.”
Three more services a day will run between Paddington and the south west, running non-stop between Reading and Taunton. An additional two-hourly semi-fast service will run between Paddington and Exeter St Davids calling at Reading, Newbury, Pewsey, Westbury, Castle Cary, Taunton and Tiverton Parkway.
GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood said:
“We have been working hard behind the scenes to prepare to implement the biggest timetable change on this network since 1976, enabling us to take advantage of the full benefits that new Intercity Express Trains are bringing. In providing more frequent and quicker journeys, our new timetable will for the vast majority of users quite literally mean ‘all change please’ and we are pleased the new timetable has now been published.”
Changes will also take place to branch line services, designed to improve capacity at the busiest times of the day and provide a more consistent service throughout the day:
- Longer, more modern trains will replace Class 143 Pacer trains on the Barnstaple line, giving a 17% increase in seats
- New earlier first train to Exeter with an arrival time at Exeter St David’s of 07.31, in line with customer aspirations and an hourly calling pattern throughout the day, including the evening peak
- Some intermediate station stops altered or removed to deliver the standard service pattern
- Devon Metro timetable recast to two trains per hour between Exmouth and Paignton, operated by four car services, with all Exeter Central services extended to Exeter St Davids
- Saturday services for Dawlish Warren increased to half hourly
- Timetable significantly recast to enable an hourly service to operate throughout the day between the busiest stations on the line. This will allow 15 round trips throughout the day on the line, in place of current 12, with off-peak services operating every two hours at intermediate stations.