RAIL passengers are being warned of disruption to services in Somerset next month.

Major maintenance work is being carried out at Whiteball Tunnel, west of Wellington, and Cogload Junction, near Taunton.

The route between Tiverton Parkway and Castle Cary/Weston-super-Mare will be closed during the work, which will last from Saturday, November 9 to the following Thursday (November 14).

Replacement coaches will be in operation on the following routes:

•Tiverton Parkway–Taunton–Castle Cary;

•Tiverton Parkway–Bristol Parkway;

•Tiverton Parkway–Taunton–Bristol Temple Meads;

•Exeter St Davids–Tiverton Parkway (limited service)-Taunton–Weston-super-Mare;

•Taunton–Bridgwater–Highbridge and Burnham-on-Sea–Weston-super-Mare.

During the Whiteball and Cogload works, trains between London and the South West will continue to run, but there will be fewer services, and some journey times will be extended by up to 60 minutes.

Services between Bristol and Weston-super-Mare and between Penzance and Tiverton Parkway will continue to run.

GWR managing director Mark Hopwood thanked passengers in advance for their patience and reminded them of the changes ahead that the improvement works are helping to bring.

He said: “We are now just a matter of weeks away from the biggest timetable change on the Great Western network since the 1970s, enabling us to take advantage of the full benefits that new Intercity Express Trains, and improved track signalling systems, are bringing.

“From December 15, in providing more frequent and quicker journeys, our new timetable will for the vast majority of users quite literally mean ‘all change please’ and we encourage those travelling to check their usual journeys beforehand.”

A GWR spokesman said train services between Devon and Cornwall and London will be restructured to deliver a more consistent service pattern throughout the day, offering faster typical journey times and more frequent services to key locations from December this year.

Network Rail‘s Western Route Director Mike Gallop said: “The completion of this track maintenance work is an important step in the countdown to the introduction of the new timetable in December, which will allow passengers to benefit from more frequent and faster journeys.

“I would like to thank both passengers and residents in advance for their patience while we carry out this essential track improvement work.”