Train services in Devon face disruption this weekend due to works
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Amended train services and replacement buses will be in operation this weekend in Devon.
Works to improve the railway between Exeter and Plymouth are set to get underway, and each weekend in February, as Network Rail undertakes track work as well as platform refurbishments at Dawlish station.
The work will affect services between Exeter St Davids and Plymouth.
The work to Dawlish comes eight years after the 2014 storm which severely damaged the line.
Since the start of construction on the first section of new, bigger sea wall in May 2019, the Dawlish coastline has undergone a mighty transformation.
The overall £80m Department for Transport-funded project which will also see an accessible station footbridge with lifts (to be completed in 2023) at Dawlish will protect the railway and town from rising sea levels and extreme weather for future generations.
As part of the works, buses will replace trains between Exeter St Davids and Plymouth on all weekends, with non-stop buses also running between Tiverton Parkway and Plymouth.
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Other engineering works in Devon will also affect services.
Including Exeter St Davids to Exeter Central on Sunday (February 6), Newton Abbot to Paignton on the weekend of February 12/13, and Crediton to Barnstaple/Okehampton from February 19 to February 27.
Mark Chorley, GWR regional station manager, west, said: "This work is important to ensure we can continue to maintain and improve reliability and we thank customers for their patience in advance.
"We have been working hard to provide as many replacement buses as we can to ensure people can continue to travel confidently and safely.
"However, we strongly recommend our customers check their times carefully before travelling to ensure a smooth journey with us."
Services will continue to operate where the railway lines remain open, but train times will be amended to allow for easy connections onto replacement buses.
Long-distance services from London Paddington to the south west will operate as far as Exeter St Davids.
Customers for stations in Plymouth or Cornwall should remember to change at Tiverton Parkway for direct replacement buses to Plymouth.
Phil Morton, Network Rail project manager, said: "We would like to thank passengers and local residents in advance for their patience and understanding while we make these important upgrades.
"In particular, the improvements we are making to the platforms at Dawlish station will make it safer and easier for passengers to step onto and off trains."