TRAINS could stop at a new Wellington Station as early as 2025, according to Network Rail.

The company hopes to have developed a detailed design for the station and a full business case to submit to the Department for Transport before the end of December 2023.

Subject to government approval, construction could begin in 2024, with Wellington Station, as well as a new one for Cullompton, potentially in operation by 2025.

Both stations would serve the Great Western mainline from London Paddington to Penzance and would sit either side of Tiverton Parkway Station.

Wellington and Cullompton Stations were closed in 1964 as part of the 'Beeching Axe' but are now the largest settlements without a rail station between Taunton and Exeter.

Network Rail has taken over the lead role in the project to build the two stations following receipt of £5million from the DoT.

It is working with partners Mid Devon District Council, Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT), Cullompton Town Council, Wellington Town Council, Devon County Council, Somerset County Council, the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership and Great Western Railway.

Christian Irwin, Network Rail’s industry programme director (South West), said: “We are pleased to be leading this next important stage of developments to support the reopening of Wellington and Cullompton stations.

“The close working relationship between the partners has been integral to us getting this far and this approach will continue to ensure that the station designs and full business case are fit for purpose and help deliver much needed stations for the communities of Wellington and Cullompton.”

Alison Blom-Cooper, assistant director of strategic place and planning at SWT, said: “This is a significant milestone following a number of years of hard work and collaboration, and we welcome the expertise and experience that Network Rail will bring in leading the project from this point through to delivery.

“SWT will have a continuing role in working with Network Rail and other stakeholders to ensure that wider land-use, access, master-planning and community issues can be looked at holistically."

Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow said: “I pledged to work to bring a rail station to Wellington when I was first elected.

“The station will bring multiple benefits including improved connectivity, business opportunities and crucially will decarbonise our transport network."

Matthew Barnes, GWR head of strategic service development, said: “We are excited to support this progress on the new stations for Cullompton and Wellington, which are large communities undergoing significant expansion and could really benefit from rail services."