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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

SWR restores full West of England timetable

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South Western Railway (SWR) has reinstated the full West of England timetable. An amended timetable was put in place on Friday 21 April, following a problem related to the diesel fuel used by the diesel trains that operate services in the Basingstoke, Exeter, Romsey, Salisbury and Yeovil areas.

The problem, which is still under investigation, caused fuel filters on a number of trains’ engines to become blocked, impacting their acceleration and top speed. Engineers at SWR’s Salisbury train care depot have performed enhanced maintenance on all affected trains, in order to restore a full service.

Fuel tanks at the depot, which provide 35,000 litres of fuel to the diesel fleet every day, have been deep cleaned and are also using fresh fuel. These steps have restored train performance, allowing services to gradually be restored.

On Tuesday 25 April, hourly services between Salisbury and Southampton Central via Romsey were reinstated, followed by direct services from Basingstoke to Exeter St Davids on Wednesday 26 April, removing the need for customers to change at Salisbury.

On Thursday 27 April, some direct services from London Waterloo to Exeter St Davids were restored ahead of the full timetable being reinstated on Friday 28 April.

“We’re sorry for the disruption that customers in the Basingstoke, Exeter, Romsey, Salisbury and Yeovil areas have felt since last Friday,” said Neil Drury, SWR’s engineering director. “It was a difficult decision to amend our timetables and we have worked hard to restore services as quickly as we can.

“We have taken a number of steps to mitigate the problem, which we believe is related to the contamination of diesel fuel. Many of our trains have returned to the levels of performance that we expect and while there is still work to do, we are pleased to be able to restore the full timetable on Friday 28 April.”

Image credit: SWR

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