Passengers who must travel urged to plan for the nine-day closure of the line between Yeovil Junction and Gillingham

A section of railway between Somerset and Wiltshire will close for nine days from 13-22 June to allow Network Rail to secure a railway embankment ensuring more reliable journeys for passengers, as well as removing two speed restrictions.

Engineers will remove thousands of tonnes of material following a landslip in December 2019 at Templecombe in Somerset that occurred following continued rainfall and will strengthen the cutting with stone. A new retaining wall will also be built at the bottom of the slope to further protect the line from soil movement.

The essential work will mean no South Western Railway (SWR) services between Yeovil Junction and Gillingham (Dorset). Trains between Exeter St David and Salisbury will be diverted via Westbury. There will be a shuttle train between Salisbury and Gillingham and a bus replacement between Gillingham and Templecombe and there is a bus replacement service between Salisbury and Gillingham. Full details can be found at www.southwesternrailway.com/templecombe.

Mark Killick, Network Rail Wessex route director, said: “I want to apologise for the disruption this will cause to passengers who do need to travel.

“When the work is complete, two speed restrictions will be removed to provide improved journeys for passengers, as well as protecting the area from landslips in the future. I would urge people who do need to travel by rail, such as those who can’t work from home, to plan ahead and check before they travel.”

Alan Penlington, Southwestern Railway customer experience director, said:  “We recognise these works will be disruptive, but it is vital they go ahead. The work Network Rail will carry out will remove damaging speed restrictions from the line, allowing our trains to run at planned speed, helping improve our performance.​

“Alternative arrangements are in place, so we advise customers to check their journey before they travel.”​

Further strengthening works to other areas of the cutting at Templecombe will take place between the end of June and September.

Details of the changes to train services is below:

Monday-Saturday 

There are no direct trains from London to Exeter, you will need to change at Salisbury to continue your journey. 

Trains will run every two hours between Salisbury and Exeter Central. These services will be diverted non-stop via Westbury and Castle Cary calling at Yeovil Junction, Crewkerne, Axminster and Honiton. A shuttle train will run every two hours between Salisbury and Gillingham calling at Tisbury. 

Replacement buses will run every two hours between Gillingham and Yeovil Junction calling at Templecombe and Sherborne. 

Currently on this line, rail replacement buses operate between Honiton and Exeter St David’s calling at all stations, Monday to Saturday. This will continue during the engineering works. 

Sunday 

Trains will run every two hours between London Waterloo and Exeter St David’s. These services will be diverted non-stop via Westbury and Castle Cary. West of Salisbury these trains will call at Yeovil Junction, Crewkerne, Axminster, Honiton, Cranbrook and Exeter Central.

A shuttle train will run every two hours between Salisbury and Gillingham calling at Tisbury. Replacement buses will run every two hours between Gillingham and Yeovil Junction calling at Templecombe and Sherborne.

Replacement buses will run every two hours between Gillingham and Yeovil Junction calling at Templecombe and Sherborne. 

Currently on this line Feniton, Whimple and Pinhoe are not being served on Sundays. This will continue during the engineering works.

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