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WATCH: Delays to Cornwall trains as work gets underway

WATCH: Delays to Cornwall trains as work gets underway

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 5:08pm 23rd February 2018. (Updated at 7:28am 25th February 2018)

Cornwall commuters are told to expect delays to their journeys as work gets underway on the main rail line into the Duchy.

Significant track work is set to shut the entire line west of Truro in March.

However, travellers are assured there will be bus replacements.

It comes as part of a major redevelopment to modernise the Cornwall line, as new trains will begin running as far south as Penzance along coastal routes in Devon and Cornwall this summer.

So when will you be affected by the works and why?

The whole rail network from Truro down will be closed between Monday, 19th March, and Thursday, 22nd March, including the St Ives Branch Line.

Trains will continue to operate between Truro and London Paddington and on the Falmouth Branch Line.

A spokesperson for Great Western Railway said: "Buses will replace trains between Truro and Penzance, adding approximately 20 mins to journeys between the two."

Work will include:

  • Capping of a mine shaft at Scorrier, near Redruth
  • Signal upgrade works, as part of the wider improvement plans.
  • Track renewal work

They added: "There will be one train an hour between Truro and Plymouth (of which one every 2 hours will extend to London Paddington)

"Two buses an hour between Truro and Penzance. One fast, stopping at St Erth only and one calling at all intermediate stations.

"Two buses an hour between St Erth and St Ives. One stopping at Lelant Saltings only. The other calling at Lelant Saltings and Carbis Bay. Some of these will also call at Lelant."

Further work is then planned for later in the year, which will affect the line east of Truro.

Bosses say that between Saturday, 21st April and Sunday, 22nd April, buses will replace trains between St Austell and Plymouth.

So what is it all about?

The Intercity Express trains are already running on the Great Western main line, connecting London to UK cities including Reading, Bath, Bristol and Cardiff.

And it is expected the entire fleet of 93 trains will be in passenger service by the end of 2019.

Officials say passengers can expect more seats, better on-board facilities and the possibility of shorter journey times.

They will also benefit from new on-board technology, including real-time journey updates and seat reservation screens.

The fleet is fitted with bi-mode technology, allowing trains to use diesel and electric power, meaning even whilst infrastructure modernisation takes place passengers can enjoy the benefits of the new trains.

And the design ensures it can withstand the region’s weather conditions, including routes along the Dawlish coast.

The new rolling stock replaces the 40-year-old trains currently serving this key intercity route.

This will mean additional seats into and out of the west of England and will help speed up typical journey times from London by five minutes to Exeter, six minutes to Plymouth and 14 minutes to Penzance.

The maiden voyage to Cornwall was part of a special journey from London Paddington to Penzance and you can watch the trains in action below...

 

Ahead of the fleet of trains arriving in the south-west, Network Rail has invested £47 million to prepare the railway for the new Intercity Express Trains.

The modernisation includes a £25 million signalling upgrade as part of the Cornwall Capacity Enabling Scheme, which has been part funded by Cornwall Council. This scheme includes 21 additional signals added to the line and seven level crossing upgrades.

The extra signalling will allow for more trains to be on the track, and will be controlled locally from the existing signal boxes at Plymouth, Lostwithiel and Roskear.

A further £12m has also been invested for de-vegetation in Devon and Cornwall and another £10m for gauge clearance as well as Totnes and Devonport platform extensions.

The Night Riviera service is also being modernised and will include a new seated carriage and a cocktail bar - not to mention refreshed berths with hotel style keyless door entry, USB charging ports and a host of other improvements.

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