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First Great Western aims for quicker journey times and more routes

By cg_ailsam  |  Posted: March 15, 2014

First Great Western timetable changes and quicker journeys planned

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First Great Western (FGW) has announced that it will begin timetable changes and aims for quicker journeys to London from Cornwall- making routes to the capital 40 minutes faster.

FGW has reached agreement with the Department for Transport on a number of timetable changes that it will be introducing in May.

From Cornwall high speed services to London would be more evenly spread throughout the day and there will be more services on Saturdays in the summer season.

First Great Western Managing Director Mark Hopwood said: “After the tough times the West of England has faced in recent weeks, First Great Western has been considering how it can improve the train service between London and key destinations in Devon and Cornwall.

“Working with Network Rail and the Department for Transport we have developed proposals that could deliver improvements from December 2014 onwards.”

The alterations include more capacity on the Cornish and Devon branches, use of a loco-hauled train between Par and Exeter on summer Saturdays and the extension of a high speed London service to and from Weston-super-Mare on summer Sundays.

Features include the use of a High Speed Train on the Bristol-Weymouth route on summer Saturdays to provide more capacity to and from the coast.

The current 7.06am Paddington to Paignton service which will run to Plymouth and key stations in Cornwall would achieve around a 40 minute earlier arrival time than today’s service.

The present 07.30am service from London Paddington to Penzance would run to Paignton via Bristol, retaining London connectivity, but with the added advantage of improved connectivity from South Wales and Bristol to Torbay.

New journey opportunities would be created by the introduction of an 11.33am Paddington to Exeter service and a 2.53pm Exeter to London service.

There would be a number of consequential changes to local services in Devon and Cornwall and along the Berks and Hants route.

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