THE Falmouth branch line has been revealed as one of the busiest train routes in the region as operator GWR says that it expects an influx of passengers with good weather this week.

New data published by GWR reveals the region’s busiest train routes, as the rail operator reminds people to avoid peak times where possible, that customers need to wear a face covering when travelling in England.

Suburban branch lines are proving to be the most in demand, it said, with passenger numbers increasing by 50 per cent compared to two weeks ago.

The data comes as train operators predict an increase in passenger numbers with good weather this week.

The top five routes, based on passenger count data where an individual train service has shown to be over-subscribed include:

• Paignton to Exmouth

• Cornish mainline, Plymouth to Penzance

• Bristol to Taunton

• Falmouth branch line, Falmouth Docks to Truro

• North Downs Line

GWR is asking customers to do all they can to follow social distancing guidance and acknowledged "that this is difficult on public transport".

The train operator is asking customers to:

• Wear a face covering

• Plan ahead – check train times in advance

• Avoid peak travel times

• Buy tickets online, on Smart card or download to a mobile device

To minimise risks customers are also asked to wash their hands prior to and after their journey and hand-sanitiser has been made available at GWR’s main stations. To help those who do need to travel avoid contact, food and drink will not be sold on board.

GWR interim MD Matthew Golton said: “We are doing everything we can to carry as many people, safely, as we can.

“But please do help us by planning ahead, travelling, where possible, at quieter times, and wear a face covering to keep yourself and our staff safe.

"It is also important to remember that not everyone is able to wear a face covering for health or other reasons, and those reasons aren’t always visible, so please be considerate to others travelling.”

The company says it is doing everything it can to help those who do need to travel to keep to social distancing guidance, but warns that it will not be possible at all points of the journey.

GWR has also introduced a ‘counted seat’ system for reservable services, where the number of reservations available on specific trains is restricted.

Customers are not provided with a specific seat number to avoid people looking for their seat once on board.