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South Western Railway (SWR), which is jointly owned by FirstGroup and MTR Corporation, has been forced to cut its train services due to a “fuel problem.” The issue has resulted in a reduction in the number of trains operating between Basingstoke, Salisbury, and Exeter St Davids, causing delays and disruptions. In this article, we will delve deeper into the cause of the fuel problem, how it has impacted SWR’s timetable, and what measures the company has taken to address it.


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The Fuel Problem and its Impact on SWR’s Timetable

SWR’s diesel-powered trains have been experiencing performance problems, leading to significant delays and disruptions. The company investigated the issue and found that it was “linked to the trains’ fuel.” As a result, SWR has withdrawn the affected trains from service for inspection and maintenance, resulting in a reduction in the number of trains available to run the normal timetable.

The Perils of the Fuel Problem

The withdrawal of trains from service has necessitated a reduction in SWR’s train services. From Friday onwards, the company has reduced the number of trains operating between Basingstoke and Salisbury to just one per hour. Additionally, only two trains per hour will operate between Salisbury and Exeter St Davids and between Southampton Central and Salisbury via Romsey. No trains will operate between Westbury and Yeovil Pen Mill.

The COO’s Apology and Advice to Customers

Stuart Meek, the COO of SWR, has apologized for the disruption caused by the fuel problem. He has advised customers to check before travelling, as the company operates an amended timetable until the issue is resolved. With fewer trains available, there is a higher risk of delays, which could have a knock-on effect on the wider network. Therefore, SWR had to prioritize customers’ safety and confidence, and make the difficult decision to operate an amended timetable.


SWR has been proactive in addressing the fuel problem that has disrupted its train services. The company has put its customers’ safety first by withdrawing the affected trains from service and operating an amended timetable. The issue has caused inconvenience to customers, but SWR hopes to reinstate the usual timetable and run services as normal as soon as possible. Customers are advised to check before travelling and to be patient as the company works to resolve the issue.

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Hi I'm Oliver Smith, I would say that I take great pride in my work as a journalist and strive to produce high-quality, impactful stories that make a difference. With more than eight years of experience under my belt, I am passionate about uncovering the truth and shining a light on issues that matter.


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