Network Rail has vowed to keep disruption to passengers to a minimum as it carries out vital improvement work on the Tarka line between Exeter and Barnstaple during March.
Two short closures have been agreed to improve the rail infrastructure on the popular line, avoiding the busy Easter weekend which sees large numbers of people – including many tourists – travelling by train.
The first closure will take place between Crediton and Barnstaple, with the line closing at 11pm on Sunday 10 March and, reopening at 3pm on Wednesday 13 March. This is for track relaying and bridge improvement works near Lapford, and for other works near Umberleigh.
During this time, train operator First Great Western will operate train services between Exeter and Crediton, with a bus replacement service serving all stations north of Crediton, through to Barnstaple.
The second closure takes place over the weekend of Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 March. During this time, buses will replace trains between Barnstaple and Exeter, as Network Rail’s engineers undertake further track renewals in the Umberleigh area and other essential maintenance along the line.
Tim Maddocks, Network Rail customer service manager for the West Country, said: “Working with First Great Western, we’ve been able to plan this vital work in a way that avoids the busy Easter weekend.
“We would like to thank passengers for their patience while we complete these essential improvement works to make the Tarka line safer, smoother and more reliable.“