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As Network Rail works to repair the railway tracks through Somerset that were damaged during February's floods, CrossCountry has been introducing an increasing number of direct trains between the two South West cities. Although speed restrictions on the line at Bridgwater mean trains are subject to small delays, customers can travel from Exeter to Bristol in just over one hour. And, with over three quarters of the normal number of daily trains able to operate and a regular hourly service introduced, they can again rely on rail for their commuting, leisure and work journeys between Exeter, Bristol and the North.
With the railway through Dawlish planned to reopen on 4 April, CrossCountry will then be able to use the four trains currently confined at Plymouth and plans to reintroduce its full range of services across the South West. This will be achieved in time for the Easter Holidays, when around 10,000 people use CrossCountry services to travel to the region from the midlands and the north.
Commenting, CrossCountry's commercial director, David Watkin, said: "We know our customers from Exeter have endured a difficult time, with travel to Bristol involving road replacement transport for over two months. We are grateful for their patience while work to repair flood damage has been undertaken and we are pleased we have been able to quickly resume a regular service. Now that we have, we have seen customers quickly returning to our trains. We are already preparing for increased numbers of people travelling to the region over the Easter Holidays, and our next goal is to ensure those who would come to the South West for the summer know there is again a fast and frequent rail service available.
Full details of train times are available from National Rail Enquiries at www.nationalrail.co.uk or by calling 08457 48 49 50.
Notes to editors
CrossCountry started operating on 11 November 2007. The franchise, which is the most extensive in the UK, will run until 31 March 2016. For further information on CrossCountry services and future franchise plans log on to crosscountrytrains.co.uk.
CrossCountry is part of the Arriva group, which is owned by Deutsche Bahn. Arriva is a leading pan-European public transport operators with more than 42,000 employees and operations across 12 European countries. The link to Arriva is www.arriva.co.uk. The link to Deutsche Bahn is deutschebahn.com.
Like CrossCountry on Facebook at facebook.com/crosscountrytrains.
Follow CrossCountry on Twitter via twitter.com/crosscountryuk.
Passengers can buy tickets for any rail journey in Britain, with any train company and with no booking fee at crosscountrytrains.co.uk or via the free CrossCountry Train Tickets app.Download the app by visiting your app store or by texting TRAVEL to 87080.
CrossCountry facts and figures
STATIONS SERVED: 119
ROUTE MILES: 1,490
WEEKDAY SERVICES: 295
PASSENGERS CARRIED: Over 30 million passenger journeys a year anticipated
ANNUAL TRAIN MILEAGE: Approximately 16 million
EMPLOYEES: Approximately 1,600
LONGEST TRAIN SERVICE: 08.20 Aberdeen to Penzance (774 miles)
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