More than 10,000 passengers use Dartmoor Line in first two weeks

Wednesday 15th December 2021 4:50 pm
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The first train arriving at Okehampton Station – the Dartmoor Line has had more than 10,000 passengers in the first two weeks.

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More than 10,000 people have travelled on the Dartmoor Line in the two weeks since it reopened, rail company GWR has revealed.

The line reopened for regular year-round, all-week passenger services on Saturday, 20 November and demand for the trains linking Okehampton and Exeter has remained consistently high.

The reopening of the Dartmoor Line is the first of the Government’s Restoring Your Railway schemes, made possible by over £40 million of government investment.

GWR managing director Mark Hopwood said: ’Delivered £10 million under budget and within nine months, ahead of time, I am delighted to see that in its first two weeks the line is starting to flourish.

’The reopening has been a key aspiration for the community and the rail industry for some time, and the demand for services shows just how important good rail connections are for the community they serve.’

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps dispatched the first weekday passenger train to run on the Dartmoor Line for over 50 years.

The first train ran on Wednesday, November 17 before regular passenger services on Saturday, November 20, travelling from Okehampton, and carried local schoolchildren, campaigners, railway staff, and supporters who all helped make the project happen.

Reacting to the newly released figures, he said: ’The Dartmoor Line has been a huge local success story - and these numbers show it.

’This link is already incredibly important to Okehampton, Exeter, Devon and to people from further afield visiting Dartmoor.

’It was brilliant to open the line last month, delivered two years early and £10 million under budget - now delivering for the local community.’

The Department for Transport, Network Rail and Great Western Railway (GWR) worked together on the reopening of the railway, delivering passenger services in only nine months from the original funding being approved to entry into service, and coming in at £10 million under budget.

In line with the latest government advice on covid, GWR is encouraging customers to travel safely.

People are reminded to wear a face covering, wash their hands frequently and buy tickets online, on a smart card or by using the GWR app to avoid handling cash.

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