“CHECK before you travel” Great Western Railway (GWR) says, as rail improvement work affecting journeys between Barnstaple and Crediton got underway today, Saturday, January 6. 

Network Rail need to carry out vital improvement work on the Tarka Line until Sunday, January 14, to replace track in the Barnstaple area.

A notice about the works at Crediton Railway Station.  AQ 3196
A notice about the works at Crediton Railway Station. AQ 3196 (Alan Quick, Crediton Courier)

It says the works will help maintain the reliability of this important stretch of railway, which carries passenger on the Tarka Line from Barnstaple to Exeter. 

Rail replacement buses will operate instead, running between Crediton and Barnstaple, during the period.

Trains continue to run to and from Exeter towards Crediton and Yeoford and onwards to Okehampton. 

Those travelling on the bus services between Crediton and Barnstaple are also being advised to allow extra time to travel or consider alternative options, as replacement bus services are expected to be busy at peak times. 

Mark Chorley, GWR Regional Station Manager, West, said:  “As we continue to invest in the railway, this work is really important to ensure we can continue to maintain and improve resilience.  

“We have been working hard to provide as many replacement buses as we can, but we ask customers to plan carefully and travel at quieter times to avoid peak-time services which are likely to be busy. We thank you in advance for your patience.” 

Jason Pankhurst, Network Rail programme manager, said: “We’re sorry for causing disruption but our work is essential to ensure the smooth running of the Tarka line for decades to come. 

“We’ll be replacing track that has reached the end of its working life to make sure the line is safe to use and help trains to travel faster in the future. 

“We can only do this when trains aren’t running so our teams can work as safely and quickly as possible.” 

Trains will continue to run on all other routes out from Exeter St Davids, including Exmouth, Paignton and Okehampton. 

Further information on these engineering works can be found at: GWR.com/Upgrade .