Dartmoor Line train at a station

Government to restore services to the Dartmoor Line

For the first time in nearly 50 years, regular passenger services will resume on the Dartmoor Line, connecting Okehampton to Exeter.

Services are set to relaunch on November 20, 2021 and will represent the first reopening of a route under the Government’s Restoring Your Railway programme.

Connecting Exeter St Davids, Crediton and Okehampton, the route will provide a launchpad for visitors to explore Dartmoor and regional links for local commuters. Around half of the services, including at peak times, will also continue on to Exeter Central.

There are anticipated to be benefits for local businesses and the tourism sector from the reopening, as well as greater access to education and work for thousands living locally.

Dartmoor Line train

The reopening of the Dartmoor Line is set to arrive just nine months after the original funding being approved, following work by the Department for Transport (DfT) and its partners to accelerate the project.

More lines and stations are set to be reopened around the country, as part of the Restoring Your Railway programme and to support the overhauling of the railways from the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail.

In order to making the historic reopening possible, Network Rail’s engineers have worked to deliver a huge programme of work over those nine months, including the laying 11 miles of new track and installing 24,000 concrete sleepers and 29,000 tonnes of ballast.

This work has been achieved in record time and coincided with repairs to 21 structures along the route, including four bridges and a range of works including vegetation clearance, earth and drainage works, and fencing are ongoing in preparation for the return of regular services.

More work is planned over the winter to support the route’s reopening, including further work on the station buildings to enable to restoration of the café and other facilities.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The project, funded by over £40m from the Department for Transport, is part of the wider campaign to reverse catastrophic cuts to the rail network primarily led by the Beeching axe.

“The work has been a successful collaboration between the DfT, Network Rail, GWR, Devon County Council, Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership, and local campaigners and MPs.”

Mike Gallop, Network Rail’s Western Route and Strategic Operations Director, added: “We’re delighted that we’ve reopened this much needed railway line for passenger services in just 9 months and ahead of schedule.

“Our team has worked incredibly hard alongside our project partners GWR, Devon County Council, Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership and the local community to ensure this railway is ready to open.

“We can’t wait to welcome passengers back to the Dartmoor Line after an absence of nearly 50 years, linking passengers to Exeter and services to the rest of the country.”

Rail Technology Magazine latest edition Jun/Jul 22

RTM JUN/JUL 22

Elizabeth Line: Stations and Their Innovations

The anticipated June/July edition of RTM is now up and running, loaded with insights and analysis of upcoming rail projects, innovations and ambitions across the UK sector. We invite you to dive in to hear from the likes of Christian Irwin OBE, Rail Investment Centre of Excellence Director at Network Rail, as he outlines the developments within the SPEED project and Jackie Townsend, the Managing Director at Tram Operations Ltd, as she discusses innovative new technology to enhance safety standards and protocols within the industry. These are just a few of the great stories that we have to offer, so dig in and enjoy the informative fun. 

Videos...

View all videos
TransCityRail Banner

TransCityRail

South \ 29 09 22
North \ 10 11 22
Mids \ 10 02 23

TransCityRail is a series of regional, interactive and insightful events across the country bringing together leaders, collaborators, problem solvers and innovators in a creative and invigorating way.
 

This series of events supports and informs the whole of the rail industry and connects suppliers with buyers, specifiers, leaders and decision-makers looking to procure a wide variety of innovative products and services for their region.

Podcast

The Green Rail Revolution

Maria Machancoses, Director of Midlands Connect discusses the importance of HS2 to the Midlands and the UK, their collaborative work with the Department for Transport, and how we need to embrace the railways again.

More articles...

View all