South Western Railway’s (SWR) December 2023 timetable will increase the number of direct, weekday services to and from London Waterloo on the West of England Line.
Direct services on the line that connects London Waterloo with Salisbury, Yeovil Junction and Exeter St Davids were reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those reductions almost halved the number of direct, off-peak services between London Waterloo, Andover and Salisbury, while customers travelling off-peak from London Waterloo to Overton, Whitchurch and Grateley must currently change at Basingstoke and wait up to 30 minutes for an onward connection.
However, following an increase in customer numbers, SWR is introducing a new timetable from Sunday 10 December that will see ten services on the West of England Line extended to and from London Waterloo on weekdays.
There will be more services to Basingstoke while Salisbury and Andover will once again see two trains per hour to and from London Waterloo, with off-peak direct services restored to Overton, Whitchurch and Grateley.
Two services will be extended to London Waterloo from East Devon, providing customers between Honiton and Basingstoke with two, and customers between Exeter and Honiton with one, additional direct service to the capital.
Customers travelling to Yeovil will also see an uplift in direct services. SWR is the only operator to provide direct services between London and the Somerset town, and customers will soon have three extended, direct services to Yeovil Junction, and two to Yeovil Pen Mill, per weekday.
Timetable changes for services to London Waterloo from:
Honiton at 0620, calling at all stations to Basingstoke and additionally at Woking, arriving at London Waterloo at 0918
Exeter St Davids at 0641, calling at all stations to Basingstoke and additionally at Woking and Clapham Junction, arriving at London Waterloo at 1020
Gillingham (Dorset) at 0918 and 1618, calling at all stations to Basingstoke and additionally at Woking
Salisbury at 1047, 1147, 1247, 1347, 1747 and 2052*, calling at all stations to Basingstoke and additionally at Woking
Timetable changes for services from London Waterloo to:
Yeovil Junction at 0950 (via Westbury) and 1550, calling at all stations from Basingstoke to Salisbury and additionally at Clapham Junction and Woking
Salisbury at 1050, 1150, 1250, 1450 and 2250, calling at all stations from Basingstoke to Salisbury and additionally at Clapham Junction and Woking
The 1438 Basingstoke to Gillingham will start at London Waterloo at 1350 and terminate at Salisbury at 1520, calling additionally at Clapham Junction and Woking
Yeovil Pen Mill at 1851
Salisbury at 1950, calling at all stations from Basingstoke to Salisbury and additionally at Clapham Junction
Steve Tyler, Planning and Performance Director for South Western Railway, said: “We’re delighted to increase the number of through services between London Waterloo and stations west of Basingstoke on weekdays, which were reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic. This service uplift means that customers travelling between Overton, Andover, Whitchurch, Grateley, Salisbury and London Waterloo will benefit from additional direct services, while reducing waiting times and offering additional journey options for customers at Basingstoke. We’re also pleased to be able to enhance the service between London Waterloo and destinations further west, such as Gillingham, Honiton, Yeovil and Exeter, allowing greater choice for our customers.”
Simon Jupp, Member of Parliament for East Devon and Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Department for Transport said: “This very welcome improvement in South Western Railway services towards London is fantastic news, particularly for residents of the South West who will have faster and more convenient journeys during the week. The frequency of services is something I’ve raised with South Western Railway and I’ve no doubt these improvements will encourage more people to travel by train.”