Somerset and Devon trains disrupted 'for up to a week'

Flooding at Cowley Bridge near Exeter, on Sunday Cables, points, signals and trackside equipment which had been under water have to be inspected and repaired if necessary

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Trains between Somerset and Devon are likely to be disrupted for up to a week after signalling equipment was damaged by flood water.

Network Rail said the line could be handed back on Wednesday, but trackside cabinets were affected and need to be inspected for damage.

There will be two trains per hour each way between Tiverton Parkway and Exeter St Davids stations.

Replacement bus services are in operation for other services.

Rail operator First Great Western said customers are advised not to travel unless absolutely necessary on the route because of the limited capacity.

'Add an hour'

"There's going to be further disruption, I'm afraid," a Network Rail spokesman said.

"Our staff have been working overnight.... to recover the railway.

"The line is still closed between Exeter and Taunton due to the flooding [from] what appears to be a severe washout of ballast at Cowley Bridge junction near Exeter."

He added cables, points, signals and trackside equipment had been under water and would have to be inspected and repaired if necessary.

Buses are also running between Exeter St Davids and Axminster and trains are unable to call at Pinhoe, Whimple and Feniton stations.

"Services between London Paddington and Tiverton Parkway are running and buses are replacing train services between Tiverton Parkway and Exeter, adding at least an hour to your overall journey time," a First Great Western spokesman said.

CrossCountry Trains said buses will replace trains between Exeter and Bristol.

Additionally there will be a limited rail service between Taunton and Bristol.

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