Network Rail investment sees improvements to the Tarka Line

Eric Partridge
The new bridge prior to replacing the old installation between Yeoford and Copplestone © Chris Saville

The Tarka Rail Association, one of the oldest and most successful Rail User Groups representing rail users on the Exeter to Barnstaple ‘Tarka Line’, welcomes the recent easing of COVID restrictions providing the incentive for more passengers to return to Devon’s railways.

The Association also particularly welcomes the news that Network Rail has been continuing their investment in the route during recent weeks with the renewal of a life-expired bridge between Yeoford and Copplestone.

Renewal of this bridge has enabled the removal of a long-term speed restriction so that trains can now run at 70mph for another half-mile of the route, taking full advantage of previous investment in new track.

Mike Day, Chair of the TRA said: “We warmly welcome this continuing investment in the Tarka Line and the new increase in speed which will be of great benefit to the reliability of the route.

We look forward to further investment in track renewals and crossings that will assist with
our strategic aim of reducing journey times between Barnstaple and Exeter to an hour or
less. It has been encouraging to see Great Western Railway maintain their regular
hourly service on the line and to be able to welcome passengers back with this further improvement.”