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Great Western Railway declared ‘black level disruption’

Rail passengers travelling from Exeter to Penzance were left stranded after a rail firm declared a ‘black level disruption’ to its services this afternoon. GWR has said Storm Antoni has resulted in “dozens of trees” falling onto the line across both Devon and Cornwall and the firm was “having great difficulty arranging and procuring alternative contingencies” which suggests that replacement bus and coach travel is not available.

GWR put out a statement at 4.10pm today, saying: “Please be advised that GWR are now declaring CSL2 Black level disruption which means we’re now advising customers travelling between Penzance and Exeter St David’s (all branch lines inclusive) to NOT TRAVEL. To reiterate, any customers with tickets for today between Penzance and Exeter St David’s branch-lines inclusive, our advice is DO NOT TRAVEL.

“This is because we’re having great difficulty in delivering our Passenger Charter of getting you from A to B. Severe weather is bringing down dozens of trees onto the live railway and we’re having great difficulty arranging and procuring alternative contingencies. A reminder that your travel ticket dated today (05/08/2023) will be valid tomorrow (06/08/2023).

“We sincerely apologise for the disruption to your journey with us today. Further information regarding compensation and customer service enquiries will be advised shortly.”

Lines reopened last night with trains running as usual this morning

Major disruption between Exeter St Davids and Penzance ‘expected until the end of the day’

No trains between Plymouth and Gunnislake

National Rail says there will be no trains between Plymouth and Gunnislake ‘until the end of the day’

‘I will be getting home two hours late’

One rail passenger said: “I was travelling to Ivybridge via Newton Abbot from up north, they didn’t tell us much until they cancelled the train. They basically just said we might not move for 90 minutes. Then they just cancelled it altogether.

“We waited at Taunton on the train for 50 minutes.

“I was travelling down and the train was held before they made an announcement saying dozens of trees have fallen and that we had to find our own ways home because trains to Waterloo, Plymouth/Penzance, and Barnstaple will not run for the rest of today.

“They’ve told everyone to find their own way home and that they aren’t organising rail replacement.”

Problems across the network

Along with trees on the line, GWR revealed that Network Rail had advised it that “a large garden shed has entered the live railway and is obstructing the track between Liskeard and St Germans”

As a result GWR said this was “naturally going to affect the entire Penzance to Exeter St David’s line of route.”

GWR added that CrossCountry rail was conveying passengers “via any reasonable route until further notice”. The company said arrangements have been made for Great Western Railway rail tickets to be accepted for these journeys.

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