Train on the Dartmoor Line

Regular services return to Dartmoor Line

Regular train services have returned to the Dartmoor Line between Exeter and Okehampton for the first time in almost 50 years.

The first passenger service to Okehampton since 1972 arrived at 07:10 on Saturday leaving Exeter St Davids at 06:32.

Great Western Railway (GWR) will run two-hourly seven-days-a-week services between Okehampton and Exeter via Crediton.

The Dartmoor Line is the first to reopen under the Government’s Restoring Your Railway programme following a £40.5m investment in March.

The line was reopened ahead of schedule thanks to the work of Network Rail, GWR, and the Department for Transport (DfT) in partnership with Devon County Council, Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership and Dartmoor Railway Association (DRA).

In just nine months the 14-mile stretch of mothballed former freight railway has been transformed more than £10m under budget.

The reopening of the line is expected to provide a lift to local businesses, the tourism sector and provide access to education and work for local communities.

Okehampton station facilities include new information screens, a Help Point, smartcard validation points, ticketing machines and a waiting room.

Further work will be carried out through the winter to restore the station café and other facilities.

Network Rail expressed their delight at the reopening of the Dartmoor Line.

Michelle Handforth, Network Rail’s Wales & Western Regional Managing Director said: “This is something that the local community and our partners have wanted for a very long time.

“I am thrilled through the close working of the project partners, the Dartmoor Line is opening ahead of schedule and under budget.

“I would like to pay tribute to our project team and engineers whose commitment and hard work has got us here.”

Mel Stride, MP for Central Devon added: “I am proud that our Central Devon constituency is the first in the UK to have a service… restored by the Government.

“The new line will provide thousands of my constituents… with a valuable service on their doorstep.

“[The service will] provide a huge boost to the local economy as we bounce back from Covid-19.

“Crucially, it will also help to reduce carbon emissions by taking cars off the A30.”

RTM OCT/NOV 21

RTM OCT/NOV 21

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