Following confirmation of government funding from the ‘Restoring Your Railway ideas’ fund, work has started on the Okehampton Parkway railway station that will serve the east of the town when the Dartmoor Line reopens.
Services are expected to restart later this year on the 14-mile stretch of railway for the first time in almost 50 years, providing a regular, daily passenger rail service between Okehampton and Exeter.
Cllr Andrea Davis, cabinet member for rail at Devon County Council said: “The £40m investment from government in reopening the Exeter to Okehampton rail line is a significant boost for communities in the west of the county”
The investment coincides with the 150th anniversary of the railway first arriving in Okehampton in 1871. Services are due to start two-hourly from December 2021, with them becoming hourly in 2022.
She added: “As the Okehampton to Exeter line reopening involves relaying almost 18km of track and replacing 24,000 concrete sleepers, we wanted to ensure that the track was laid in the optimum position to facilitate the most cost-effective delivery of the Parkway Station.”
Last year Devon County Council commissioned Network Rail to build on the initial feasibility report for Okehampton Parkway and develop a recommended platform option for the new station.
Now as part of the Devon Metro proposals, as well as the reintroduction of the services between Okehampton and Exeter, a new railway station at Okehampton Parkway.
The Dartmoor line is first to receive investment by the Government as part of its plans to reinstate stations and restore passenger services closed during the 1960s Beeching cuts.