Friday 29 Oct 2004

UPDATE: TRAIN SERVICES IN THE SOUTH WEST HIT BY STORMS

Region & Route:
| Wales & Western: Wales & Borders
| Southern: Wessex
| Wales & Western: Western
| Wales & Western
| Southern
Rail customers travelling between Newton Abbot and Exeter St.Davids or St.Erth and Penzance are still affected by the severe weather that hit the South West yesterday and on Wednesday.  West Ham football fans travelling by rail to the match against Plymouth Argyle tomorrow will also be affected. The railway lines were closed at 6.30pm on Wednesday following weather damage, particularly around the Dawlish seawall area.  Network Rail hopes to open one of the lines between Newton Abbot and Exeter St.Davids with a restricted service late Sunday morning and the line between St.Erth to Penzance late Sunday afternoon.  This is dependent on the effects of forthcoming weather and tides. Andy Hancock, Network Rail’s General Manager for the West Country, said: “We have a very robust plan of work in place, with people working around the clock to get these lines re-opened.  Progression of work is very dependant on Mother Nature, particularly when the tide is in.  Safety of our workforce is also paramount in such conditions.” The continued closure will affect West Ham football fans travelling to the match against Plymouth Argyle on Saturday. Fans who do not have reservations are being advised to make other travel arrangements. First Great Western's Head of Customer Services, Linda Hill said, "We have tried to minimise the effects of this closure by publishing an emergency timetable and providing as many seats on replacement road transport as possible. The message to West Ham fans is that if you don't have a seat reservation on our trains, there may not be space on the replacement coaches to Plymouth."

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