Rail minister boards the Dartmoor Line as new train hourly service set to open

Thursday 12th May 2022 3:44 pm
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Rail minister Wendy Morton waves off train at Okehampton Station
Rail minister Wendy Morton waves off train at Okehampton Station (Chris Godfrey )

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Rail minister Wendy Morton boarded the Exeter-Okehampton train this morning ahead of the opening of the new hourly service set to begin on Sunday.

Mrs Morton visited the Dartmoor Line for the first time following the completion of upgrades to the track to allow the hourly service to go ahead.

On arriving at Okehampton, Mrs Morton was offered the chance to wave off the next train and was treated to a special tour of the refurbished station before getting front seat in the driver’s cab on the train back to Exeter.

She said of her visit: ‘It was a really good atmosphere on the train. But I think what struck me was the number of passengers. It really demonstrated to me the popularity with local people, the community and tourists as well which demonstrates how important rail is.’

Passenger numbers are double the expectations of the railway companies when the line re-opened in November last year and they expect the new hourly service to attract more railway users.

Okehampton station managers are also planning to enhance the station further with plans in place to re-open the cafe and build an undercover waiting area for passengers.

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