Great Western Railway is introducing a temporary reduced timetable, including in parts of Cornwall, as a result of "higher than usual" levels of staff being absent or self-isolating due to Covid. 

The temporary timetable reduction comes into effect from this Saturday (January 8), with GWR saying the aim is to ensure it can continue to provide the majority of its usual, planned trains.

The reduced timetable will be updated on a weekly basis and is only expected to be in operation for a short time – until the impact of the Omicron variant has lessened, said the company. 

GWR managing director Mark Hopwood said:  "We are taking some sensible measures using the experience, knowledge and good processes we have developed over the past 20 months to give customers confidence in our timetable.

“In the past few weeks we have already taken steps to maintain service levels across the network, including cancelling all non-safety critical staff training.

“Like many other businesses we are expecting prolonged periods of staff absence due to Covid to continue in the coming weeks and the objective of this temporary timetable is to provide a service that can be relied on, reducing the potential for ad hoc short-notice cancellations.

“This means reducing our timetable a little to shore up the large number of services we continue to operate. We have prioritised high-use school, college and other known key worker services and we very much hope that the changes will only be needed for a short period.

“We will be reviewing the need for temporary changes weekly and will update journey planners and our website with details of any changes needed for the week ahead."

Customers are advised to check their journey before leaving home at

Affected routes include some of the Devon and Cornwall branch lines. The St Ives branch will revert to hourly services on weekdays and some other services in the west are also impacted. Planned upgrade work between Newton Abbot and Paignton means that no trains will run for the next two weekends – and a bus replacement service will be in operation.

Services between London Paddington, Bristol Temple Meads and South Wales will run to an hourly frequency at weekends as a result of pre-planned engineering works. A slightly reduced service will operate from Monday to Friday.

There are also some reductions to long-distance services on other routes on the network.

In addition to the changes from Saturday, today's 17:04 London Paddington to Penzance train, due to arrive at 22:25 (Wednesday), has been cancelled due to a "short-notice change to the timetable."

If you hold a valid single, return, or weekly ticket, you will be able to claim compensation for delays of 15 minutes or more. Keep your ticket and visit