Network Rail, Great Western Railway and CrossCountry are urging passengers in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall to check before they travel on Sunday, 16 February as flooding will mean the closure of the lines between Exeter St Davids and Taunton and Exeter St Davids and Barnstaple.
The lines are expected to flood overnight, which would cause damage to a specialist building that houses safety critical signalling equipment. To prevent this from happening, Network Rail is installing a temporary flood barrier to protect the building, which has to be installed across the railway track. As a result no train services will be able to run on this section of the rail network. The flood barrier takes around six hours to put in place and work to install it will begin after the last train service tonight (Saturday, 15 February.)
Network Rail, Great Western Railway and CrossCountry are urging passengers planning to travel in this area on Sunday, 16 February to check before they travel via National Rail Enquiries or by visiting www.gwr.com or www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk. Great Western Railway and CrossCountry are working to source bus replacement services where possible.
Great Western is advising its customers to only travel if necessary. A diversionary route via Yeovil is expected to be in operation, alongside alternative road transport. This will be a reduced service: trains will be busier and take longer than usual. Customers choosing not to travel on Sunday can use their tickets on Monday 17 or Tuesday 18 February or claim their money back if they do not travel at all.
The flood barrier is expected to be removed on Sunday night, which should allow a full train service to operate on Monday morning.
Network Rail, Great Western Railway and CrossCountry would like to reassure passengers that we are working closely together to keep train services moving and apologise for any disruption to journeys.