South Western Railway is urging customers to only travel if absolutely necessary between Salisbury and Exeter St Davids today (Wednesday, December 27).

Due to forecast heavy rainfall, a 40mph speed restriction will be in place on the West of England line from 6pm yesterday evening, (Tuesday, December 26), remaining in place on Wednesday 27 December.  

Check before you travel on their website.

Trains will travel at much slower speeds than usual, meaning only one train will run every two hours between Salisbury and Exeter St Davids, instead of the planned one train per hour, throughout the day.  

Services from London Waterloo to Exeter St Davids were already expected to be extremely busy because of the planned closure of London Paddington from Sunday 24 to the end of Wednesday 27 December.  

All services between Salisbury and Exeter St Davids for Wednesday 27 December will be removed from journey planners by the evening of Tuesday 26 December in preparation for the amended services to be added.   

Journey planners will not be up to date for services between Salisbury and Exeter St Davids until the morning of Wednesday 27 December. 

If customers must travel on Wednesday 27 December, double-check your journey before setting off.  

A spokesman for South Western Railway said: “We’re really sorry that we must urge customers to only travel if absolutely necessary between Salisbury and Exeter on Wednesday.  

“With severe weather expected, trains are only able to travel at around half their usual speeds between Salisbury and Honiton. Because of the single line between these stations, it will not be possible to operate a normal timetable. 

“We know many customers will want to travel that day after celebrating Christmas, but if they are able to travel on another day, we strongly recommend doing so. Once again, we’re very sorry for the disruption.” 

Customers with tickets for Wednesday 27 December will be able to use them on Thursday 28 or Friday 29 December. Those who can travel on those days instead are encouraged to do so.  

As normal, there are no SWR services operating across the network on Christmas Day or Boxing Day. For more information on services running over the Christmas and New Year period.