A series of engineering works are set to take place on the Dartmoor Line in preparation for the introduction of hourly services.
The move from Network Rail will improve the experience for passengers travelling between Okehampton and Exeter.
Engineers will upgrade parts of the 14-mile stretch of track which currently carries two-hourly Great Western Railway (GWR).
Work will also be done at Fatherford and Coleford to improve the drainage and track bed to enable faster line speeds.
Back in November regular services returned to the Dartmoor Line for the first time in almost 50 years.
The Dartmoor Line was one of the first reopened Beeching Cuts lines as part of the Restoring Your Railway fund.
Christian Irwin, Network Rail’s Industry Programme Director (South West) commented on the upgrades on the Dartmoor Line.
Mr Irwin said: “These latest upgrades are critical in enabling this important railway line to increase to hourly services.
“[This is] something we had always committed to achieving upon receiving Government funding.
“We have been delighted with how popular the Dartmoor Line has proven to be.
“We now need to make some further enhancements to parts of the track in order to facilitate increased line speeds which are required to enable hourly services.
“There is never a good time to close such a well-used and relied upon railway… so we would like to thank passengers for their patience and understanding.”
Matt Barnes, GWR Head of Strategic Service Development spoke on the importance of the work.
Mr Barnes said: “This final upgrade work is important to ensure we can introduce our additional services later in May.
“Introducing hourly services on the Dartmoor Line has been a key aspiration for the community and the rail industry since the project was launched.
“The demand we’ve already seen on the line shows just how important good rail connections are for the community they serve.
“We have been working hard to provide a replacement bus service that ensures people can continue to travel with minimal disruption.”
Featured image - Network Rail