Rail passengers in the area are bracing themselves for more rail strikes today and on Saturday, with no trains running at all on branch lines in Devon and Cornwall.

This means that there will be no trains at all between Exeter and Okehampton or on the Tamar Valley Line today and Saturday, August 18 and 20.

Only around 20 per cent of rail services will be run on Network Rail’s western route – across the south and south west – on the upcoming strike days.

Most trains will be starting later and finishing much earlier than usual – between 7.30am and 6.30pm. Network Rail said that specially trained and fully qualified back-up staff would again step in during the walkout to keep vital services running.

Great Western Railway (GWR) will be running a significantly reduced number of trains on the western route with a revised timetable in place. There will be no trains west of Newton Abbot towards Plymouth and Cornwall, as signallers are on strike. All the branch lines in Devon – Tarka Line to Barnstaple, Avocet Line to Exmouth, Paignton and Okehampton will not be running.

In Cornwall, no trains at all will be running on the Thursday and Saturday. GWR says there is also likely to be some disruption to services on the days after each strike – tomorrow (Friday, August 19) and Sunday (August 21 )– as workers return to duties.

Mike Gallop, route director at Network Rail Western said:‘It’s really disappointing that we’re having to ask passengers, once again, not to travel by train for two days due to unnecessary strike action. We’ll be running as many services as we safely can for those who absolutely need to travel by train, but we are urging everyone to plan ahead, check their journey and expect severe disruption.’

Passengers can get ticket refunds if they are unable to travel on the strike days and can also use their tickets on alternative days. See https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ for travel updates.