TRAIN operating company Great Western Railway has announced that the Night Riviera sleeper train service between Cornwall and Devon and London Paddington will be suspended from next week until mid-March due to urgent night-time engineering works needed on the coastal stretch of line at Dawlish in South Devon.

The Night Riviera train to London starts in Penzance and in Cornwall calls at St Austell, Par, Bodmin Parkway and Liskeard stations, and in Devon at Plymouth, Totnes, Newton Abbot and Exeter St Davids before going onward to the capital via Taunton and Reading. As well as the sleeper carriages containing cabins with berths there are also one or two carriages where people can travel overnight in seats.

The company says that the period between Monday, January 24, and Thursday, March 17, will see overnight closures of the stretch of line between Exeter St Davids and Teignmouth on every weekday except Fridays.

GWR says that during these eight weeks when the sleeper service is suspended, and as part of its plans to improve the resilience of the line between Dawlish and Holcombe, Network Rail will be building at 209-metre rockfall shelter to help protect trains north of Parsons Tunnel.

A spokesperson said: “We always work with Network Rail to minimize the impact of their work. Traditionally this might mean reducing services at weekends. However, with fewer customers using this service at present due to COVID, carrying out the work during the week will cause less disruption.

“Our Night Riviera Sleeper is extremely popular, providing an important link between London and Devon and Cornwall, and we are sorry for the disruption this vital work will cause. We look forward to its completion, where we can welcome back the world-famous Night Riviera Sleeper into full service.”