Tarka Line News

Tarka Line News

On 1st January 2018, the timetable which applies until Saturday 19th May was introduced.  On the Tarka line some train departure times vary by a few minutes from the previous timetable and so it would be prudent to check the new timetable prior to making your journey if not already familiar with the changes.


Moving away from the Tarka Line new bimodal trains can now be seen on services running from Paddington to South Wales, Bristol, Oxford and Worcester. The trains are electric but where the railway lines are not electrified will run under diesel power. These will increase capacity and shorten journey times. The bimodal sets destined for services to Devon and Cornwall from Paddington are currently being built in Italy and should start appearing on that route in the summer. New electrical commuter trains in the Thames Valley will see the release of the diesel units currently in use being transferred to Bristol. This in turn will then allow those used on Cardiff to Portsmouth services to be transferred to Exeter. Some of these more comfortable 3 coach trains are capable of 90 mph and will be used on the Tarka line.


In October 2017 the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership launched the Tarka Line Foodie Guide to promote local cafes, restaurants and food businesses along the line.  A total of 40,000 guides have been printed and distributed to stations and tourist information centres on the GWR network. There is also a website at http://greatscenicrailways.co.uk/food/tarka-line-foodie-guide/ where details can be found. The Foodie Guide has been made possible thanks to a grant from the Designated Community Rail Development Fund which is backed by the Department for Transport and the Association of Community Rail Partnerships. A similar guide is available for the Truro to Falmouth line.   As a stakeholder the Tarka Rail Association are working with GWR, Network Rail and local councils to help promote the line and improve services for the benefit of the community.

Alan Clark

Stations Officer, Tarka Rail Association