Representatives from Great Western Railway (GWR), Cornwall Council and Network Rail braved a cold morning to give a warm welcome to the new December timetable, which sees four new early morning Newquay-Par services. Cllr Geoff Brown, of Cornwall Council was joined by GWR Interim Managing Director Matthew Golton and Network Rail’s Industry Programme Director for the South West, Christian Irwin on board the new 0712 service which brought them into Par for 0801, where Steve Double, MP for St Austell and Newquay, was there to greet them. With the new timetable increasing the number of services on the line from 12 to 16 per day, passengers from Newquay now have more choice on when they can travel and will be able to reach key destinations such as Plymouth and London up to three hours earlier than before. The new services also improve travel times for people living along the branch line, making travel to work, school and college in locations such as Newquay and Victoria Business Park much easier.
GWR Interim Managing Director Matthew Golton, and Network Rail's Christian Irwin, greet Cllr Geoff Brown and grandson Jago.
These changes mark the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the Newquay line. Ambitious proposals are being developed by GWR, Cornwall Council and Network Rail to transform the route including investment in track and signalling. If funded, these proposals will enable more frequent services and pave the way for the longer term Mid-Cornwall Metro vision, which recently secured funding for business case development from the Restoring your Railway Ideas Fund, and aims to link Newquay with St Austell, Truro and Falmouth.
Matthew Golton, Interim Managing Director for GWR said, “We are proud to have worked alongside MPs, Cornwall Council, rail user groups, and Network Rail to bring more services to the people of Cornwall and, in particular, to those who live along the Newquay branch line. With development funding recently being awarded by the DfT to look at the wider Mid Cornwall Metro aspirations, this is an exciting time for the people of Cornwall.”
Steve Double, MP for St Austell and Newquay said, “This new timetable is fantastic news for Newquay and will undoubtedly help residents connect for commuting to mainline stations in Cornwall and further afield. I have been in discussion with GWR and Network Rail for many months working to secure a better train service for Newquay and the villages on this branch line. This improved timetable is the first stage in a series of improvements for this route which will provide much better connections to and from Newquay. Along with the recently announced funding to progress the Mid-Cornwall Metro project, which will provide more services to and from Newquay, it is great to see this push to improve the rail connectivity for Newquay and stations along the branch line.”