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South West Trains customers in the West of England benefit from launch of new timetable

  • New regular hourly West of England line services between Exeter St Davids and Waterloo for the first time in the line’s history
  • Faster journey times from Exeter St Davids to Waterloo
  • Later evening weekday train from Exeter St Davids to Yeovil Junction
  • Completion of £22 million improvement scheme by Network Rail

Customers in the West of England have received an early Christmas present in the form of a new, hourly train service between Exeter St Davids and London Waterloo. Launched on Sunday 13 December as part of South West Trains Winter timetable change, the new services also provide faster journey times between Exeter St Davids and Waterloo, as well as an improved weekday late night service.

The new and improved services, which have been enabled through a £22million infrastructure improvement programme by Network Rail, will provide customers with far greater choice, a more reliable train service and some great value tickets. With prices starting from just £12 for an Advance single ticket from Exeter St Davids to Waterloo, customers will have the choice of 15 trains a day on Mondays to Saturdays to London, providing a faster and more convenient way to enjoy a day out in the Capital.

With improvement work now completed by Network Rail, South West Trains has been able to extend its hourly London Waterloo to Yeovil service through to Exeter St Davids. This means that customers from Waterloo, Clapham Junction, Woking, Basingstoke, Andover, Salisbury, Tisbury, Gillingham, Templecombe, Sherborne, Yeovil Junction, Crewkerne, Axminster and Honiton will benefit from an hourly service right through to Exeter Central and Exeter St Davids. The new timetable also brings a later weekday evening service from Exeter St Davids to Salisbury at 22.57, benefiting customers in Pinhoe, Whimple, Feniton, Honiton, Axminster, Crewkerne, Yeovil Junction and Salisbury.

Andy Pitt, Managing Director for South West Trains comments: “The introduction of these new services marks a significant step forward for our customers and the team at South West Trains, and we would like to pay tribute to everybody who helped us to turn this ambition into a reality.

“Good transport links to major cities such as Exeter and of course, our Capital city, play a crucial role in helping to keep the local economy growing, and we are certain that our customers will enjoy using these new hourly services.”

Whilst this aspiration started more than 20 years ago, the physical work to deliver these customer improvements started just one year ago with the construction of a new three-mile long piece of track. This new piece of track has created a passing loop at Axminster station to enable two-way movement of trains, vital to delivering the much needed extra services. In addition, work has been carried out to modernise the signalling system and to strengthen a number of rail bridges along the route to improve the reliability of train services.

Work has also taken place at Axminster station, with Network Rail reinstating a disused platform to accommodate the new services and additional passengers.  The station’s amenities have also been improved to provide a new footbridge, a lift, new waiting shelters and a digitised customer information system.

Richard O’Brien, Route Director for Network Rail said: “Investment of this kind is key to the future of the railway. Now it is completed, passengers in the area will significantly benefit from better connectivity to and from London, which could lead to a boost to local economy and sets off the catalyst for further passenger growth.”

“I would like to thank our engineers and contractors for working tirelessly and especially braving difficult weather conditions over the last few weeks to get the scheme finished in time.  And, I would also like to thank the local community, passengers and our partner, South West Trains, for their patience whilst work was taking place. Their co-operation and support made it all possible.”

A summary of the key improvements for each station are detailed below:

 

London WaterlooA new, direct hourly train service from Waterloo to Exeter St Davids.  14 trains will now be provided every weekday between Waterloo and Exeter St Davids, with an average journey time of just 3 hours and 22 minutes.
Clapham JunctionA new direct hourly train service from Clapham Junction to Exeter St Davids throughout the day with an average journey time of just 3 hours and 15 minutes.
WokingA new direct hourly train service from Woking to Exeter St Davids throughout the day with an average journey time of just 2 hours and 56 minutes.
BasingstokeA new direct hourly train service from Basingstoke to Exeter St Davids throughout the day with an average journey time of just 2 hours and 35 minutes.
AndoverA new direct hourly train service from Andover to Exeter St Davids throughout the day with an average journey time of just 2 hours and 18 minutes.
SalisburyNew direct hourly train service to Exeter St Davids throughout the day with an average journey time of just 1 hour and 55 minutes.
TisburyNew direct hourly train services to Exeter St Davids throughout the day with an average journey time of just 1 hour and 35 minutes, and prices starting from just £25.60 for an Anytime Day Return to Exeter. Passengers in Tisbury will also receive an additional morning train to Salisbury and Waterloo on Mondays to Fridays and Sundays.
GillinghamNew direct hourly train services to Exeter St Davids throughout the day with an average journey time of just 1 hour and 24 minutes. Passengers in Gillingham will also receive an additional morning train to Salisbury and Waterloo Mondays to Fridays and Sundays.
TemplecombeNew direct hourly train services to Exeter St Davids throughout the day with an average journey time of just 1 hour and 17 minutes.
SherborneNew direct hourly train services to Exeter St Davids throughout the day with an average journey time of just 1 hour and 9 minutes.
Yeovil JunctionA new direct hourly train service from Yeovil Junction to Exeter St Davids throughout the day with an average journey time of just over an hour.
CrewkerneIn addition to new hourly services to Waterloo and Exeter St Davids throughout the day, passengers in Crewkerne will also benefit from a later weekday train from Exeter St Davids, departing at 2257 (the previous last weekday train departed at 2230 Mondays to Thursdays).
AxminsterIn addition to new hourly services to Waterloo and Exeter St Davids throughout the day, passengers in Axminster will also benefit from a later weekday train from Exeter St Davids, departing at 2257 (the previous last weekday train departed at 2230 Mondays to Thursdays).
HonitonIn addition to new hourly services to Waterloo and Exeter St Davids throughout the day, passengers in Honiton will also benefit from a later weekday train from Exeter St Davids, departing at 2257 (the previous last weekday train departed at 2230 Mondays to Thursdays)
Feniton / WhimplePassengers in Feniton and Whimple will benefit from the new later weekday train, departing Exeter St Davids at 2257, arriving at Whimple at 2313 and Feniton at 2318.
PinhoePassengers in Pinhoe will benefit from an improved Sunday service with a regular two-hourly service towards both Waterloo and Exeter St Davids

Exeter Central
 Exeter St Davids

Passengers travelling from these two stations in Exeter will have the benefit of a new hourly service to London Waterloo, with faster journey times (up to 16 minutes faster than previously)