Train operator slashes timetable due to ‘fuel problem’

A train operator has slashed services due to a “fuel problem”.

South Western Railway (SWR) said it will run a reduced timetable between Basingstoke, Salisbury and Exeter St Davids “until further notice”.

Performance issues with some diesel-powered trains operating from depots in Salisbury and Exeter were first recorded on Wednesday, according to the company owned by FirstGroup and MTR Corporation.

A day later it was discovered the issue was “linked to the trains’ fuel”, SWR said.

Affected trains have been removed from service for inspection and maintenance, meaning there are not enough to run the normal timetable.

From Friday, only one train per hour will operate between Basingstoke and Salisbury, with two per hour between Salisbury and Exeter St Davids, and between Southampton Central and Salisbury via Romsey.

No trains will operate between Westbury and Yeovil Pen Mill.

SWR chief operating officer Stuart Meek said: “We’re very sorry for the disruption that will be felt by our customers on the West of England Line, in the Romsey area and other destinations west of Salisbury.

“Over the last two days some services have suffered delays due to a fuel problem and so we have had no choice but to withdraw the affected trains.

“With fewer trains available and a risk of delays – which would have a knock-on effect on the wider network – we have had to make the difficult decision to operate an amended timetable.

“While we appreciate it is frustrating that fewer services will be operating, this timetable does give our customers a service they can have confidence in.

“We really appreciate our customers’ patience and advise them to check before travelling. We will provide an update when we know we can reinstate the usual timetable and run services as normal.”

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