Passengers are being urged to check before they travel ahead of Network Rail’s final phase of work to modernise signals in Devon and Cornwall and improve the resilience of the railway in the South West.

Thirteen days of round-the-clock work in Cornwall will begin on Tuesday, February 27 and is due to be completed on Sunday, March 10.

Work then resumes near Plymouth from Saturday, March 16 to Thursday, March 21.

Signals that have reached the end of their working life will be replaced with a new digital system. The system will improve the reliability and safety of the railway and new digital technology will allow for real-time information to be provided to passengers.

The work is the third stage of a major programme to transform how trains run in the region.

Over the past few months, Network Rail’s contractor Siemens has installed new equipment and signals and laid new cabling over a combined 66 miles of railway.

In this final phase of work, the new system will be brought into use and control moved to the regional signalling centre at Exeter, for Cornwall, and the Devon section to Plymouth.

New signals in Cornwall are due to come into use on Monday, March 11, with Devon following on Friday, March 22.

Part of the project is one of the largest programmes of track work ever completed in Cornwall.

A team of more than 100 people will work across a 50-mile site to install new equipment that will ease congestion at Truro, remove redundant equipment, and lay new track, sleepers and ballast.

Work will also take place to complete new level crossings at Truro and Lostwithiel that will improve safety and reduce delays on the railway.

GWR is asking passengers to check their journeys before travelling, with buses replacing trains on routes over these dates:

  • Tuesday, February 27 to Sunday, March 3 - line closed between St Austell and St Erth (including the branch line to Falmouth Docks)
  • Monday, March 4 to Friday, March 8 – line closed between Liskeard and St Erth (including branch lines to Newquay and Falmouth Docks)
  • Saturday, March 9 to Sunday, March 10– line closed between Plymouth and St Erth (including branch lines to Looe, Newquay and Falmouth Docks)
  • Saturday, March 16 to Sunday, March 17 – line closed between Exeter St Davids and Plymouth
  • Monday. March 18 to Thursday, March 21 – line closed between Totnes and Plymouth (extending to Exeter St Davids after 21:40 each night)