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SWT adds more services and links to West of England Main Line

South West Trains (SWT) has announced a series of new and extended passenger services and links to London set to “transform rail services in the West of England”.

The operator has been given the green light by the Office of Rail and Road to introduce extra services from 14 December.

Changes will bring 800 additional seats every weekday between London and Somerset and will improve connectivity in the south west between Weymouth, Dorchester, Exeter, Westbury, Salisbury, Bath, Bristol and London.

New links will also connect London Waterloo to Bruton and Frome for the first time with two daily services.

The new services will provide a series of additional changes, including:

  • Half-hourly train services from London to Tisbury, Gillingham, Templecombe, Sherborne and Yeovil Junction between 15:20 and 19:20
  • Ten trains every week day connecting Yeovil Junction and Yeovil Pen Mill
  • Two new daily direct services between Castle Cary and Frome and Basingstoke, Woking and Clapham Junction
  • Yeovil Junction, Sherborne and Templecombe have two additional trains in the mid-afternoon – 13:50 from London Waterloo and 15:53 from Yeovil Junction
  • Two trains per hour from Exeter to Honiton between 16:00 and 18:00
  • Yeovil Pen Mill will have six direct trains from and two trains to London Waterloo each week day
  • Half- hourly service in late afternoon and early evening between Salisbury and London Waterloo

Tim Shoveller, managing director of SWT, said: “We are delighted that these plans have been approved and we will now be able to press ahead with major improvements on the West of England line from December.

“Good transport links to cities such as Salisbury and of course, our capital city, play a crucial role in helping to keep the local economy growing, and we are certain that our customers will enjoy using these new services.”

The train operator has also introduced a ‘rolling programme’ to refurbish all 30 of the class 159 trains on the West of England main line.

The diesel trains will provide an “improved quality of service and comfort” for passengers in Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire.

(Top image c. Hugh Llewelyn)


Andrew Gwilt   27/08/2015 at 08:24

Plus South West Trains are to order the brand new Class 707 Desiro City trains in 2017 with Class 450's to be operated on services to Alton, Basingstoke, Hook, Liphook, Farnborough, Southampton Central, Portsmouth Harbour, Portsmouth & Southsea and Winchester with Class 444's to operate to Bournemouth, Poole, Weymouth & Portsmouth Harbour and the converted Class 458/5's to be operated to Windsor & Eton Riverside and Wimbledon as the 30x Class 707's once built will be operating to Reading, Woking, Guildford and Windsor & Eton Riverside taking over some of the Class 450's duties.

Nonsuchmike   28/08/2015 at 14:28

The longest journey starts but with the smallest step - and this news is only one small step for the the public & the TOCs to crow about. Yet we should rejoice that there is any movement forward at all after such inertia for so long. Our concern is that not enough metal track is being laid down to facilitate the ease of passenger movements and hence business growth in the West of England. We would like to see at least two new routes west of Exeter, improvements in the Bristol to Dorset region, as well as vital synapses elsewhere. But mainly for passengers we want to see the abandonment of the minimalist two-car trains. Trains should be four cars at least, with some lines/services demanding five or eight car cross-country entities. New crammed-in seats & a lick of paint are just not enough to satisfy over-charged travelers these days.

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