Sleeper train services between London and Cornwall will be disrupted for two months as a result of a complication with engineering works, Network Rail announced today.
From 24 January until 17 March, every Monday to Thursday the line between Exeter St Davids and Teignmouth will be closed, while the sleeper service will operate on Fridays and Sunday, resuming full service on 18 March.
“While it is disappointing to need to close the railway overnight for this period, the safety of those working on the project and our passengers is paramount and we have concluded the piling for this project is most safely achieved by using a rail-mounted piling machine,” said Network Rail Western’s route and strategic operations director Mike Gallop.
“I would like to thank passengers for their patience and understanding while we complete this important work that once complete, will help protect trains against falling rocks along this vital stretch of railway.”
Works started on the 209m rockfall shelter extension north of Devon’s Parsons Tunnel but came to a halt when engineers realised the condition of the ground is not adequate enough for piling work to begin and needs a specialist piling rig built.
“While it is disappointing that we will be seeing line closures to get this vital work done, I have been assured by Network Rail that every effort has been made to minimise disruption while ensuring the work can be done safely,” added Anne Marie Morris, MP for Newton Abbot.
“I would ask everyone to bear with Network Rail through this disruption. In the end we will be the winners with our iconic railway line properly futureproofed.”