Dartmoor Line: Upgrade work ahead of start of hourly services – BBC


The Dartmoor rail line is having 15 days of upgrade work in preparation for the start of hourly services.
The line carries passengers between Okehampton and Exeter with work scheduled to last until 10 May.
Reduced trains will run between Exeter and Crediton and bus replacements between Crediton and Okehampton.
Network Rail will be upgrading parts of the 14-mile stretch ahead of the reintroduction of hourly passenger services on 15 May.
Along the Dartmoor Line, at Fatherford and Coleford, Devon, engineers will be improving the drainage and track bed to enable faster line speeds, Network Rail said.
The upgrades form part of the second stage of the Dartmoor Line reopening, building upon the reintroduction of regular passenger services in November, when the line reopened after 49 years.
The Dartmoor Line was the first former line to reopen under the government's Restoring Your Railway programme.
The programme was launched in January 2020 to reinstate axed local services and restore closed stations, many of which were cut following Dr Beeching's report on The Reshaping of British Railways in 1963.
Since 1997, the Dartmoor Line has only been open on some summer Sundays after regular services stopped in 1972.
Trains services on the Tarka Line between Exeter and Barnstaple will continue to run as usual.
Train services every two hours will resume from 10 May, with hourly services starting from 15 May.
Christian Irwin, Network Rail's industry programme director for the South West, said: "There is never a good time to close such a well-used and relied upon railway such as the Dartmoor Line so we would like to thank passengers for their patience and understanding while we make these critical upgrades for the benefit and future of this railway line."
Matt Barnes, GWR head of strategic service development, said: "We have been working hard to provide a replacement bus service that ensures people can continue to travel with minimal disruption."
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Regular trains return to rural line after 49 years
Dartmoor rail line reopening after 49 years
Dartmoor Line
Great Western Railway
Network Rail
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