Tiverton-Taunton rail line disruption in New Year

Somerset County Gazette: Tiverton-Taunton rail line disruption in New Year Tiverton-Taunton rail line disruption in New Year

RAIL passengers face potential disruption to their journey in the New Year after Network Rail announced a closure of the line between Tiverton and Taunton – to allow repair work on Whiteball tunnel to take place.

The line will be closed from January 18 to February 10 and trains will be replaced by bus services between the two stations.

Around three miles of track will be renewed and seven units of switches and crossings re-laid separately at Taunton and Tiverton to enable trains to travel at a higher speed of 80mph.

This effort will significantly help boost rail performance while complementing Network Rail’s long-term aspiration to improve services between Bristol and Exeter.

Mike Gallop, Network Rail’s director of asset management on the Western route, said: “We are carrying out essential improvement works on a vital rail link and on one of the more popular freight and commuter routes in the south-west of England. The programme also forms a key building block to support our long-term vision to improve journey times between Bristol and Exeter.

“Unfortunately we have to close the railway temporarily to enable us to carry out this complex piece of work safely and efficiently within a confined space.

“To minimise disruptions, we have carefully designed our work by integrating three separate projects into one programme, which enable us to tackle the tunnel and the railway together without having to close the railway many times.”

Network Rail and First Great Western will also be providing additional car parking spaces at Taunton railway station to minimise any potential disruption to passengers.

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