Opening date announced for Dartmoor Line
Full train services will return to the Dartmoor Line in Devon on 20 November. The Department for Transport said the DfT and its partners had 'accelerated' the reopening of the railway, because passenger services will now be launched only nine months since funding was approved. Trains will run every two hours at first from Okehampton to Crediton and Exeter St David's, with some trains continuing to Exeter Central. The frequency will be increased to hourly when the new timetables start in May. The work to reopen almost 18km of railway needed 24,000 concrete sleepers and 29,000 tonnes of ballast, while repairs have also been made to 21 structures including four bridges. Other work has included vegetation clearance, earth and drainage works and installation of new fencing. Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: 'The project, funded by over £40 million from the Department for Transport, is part of the wider campaign to reverse catastrophic cuts to the rail network primarily led by the Beeching axe. The work has been a successful collaboration between the DfT, Network Rail, GWR, Devon County Council, Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership, and local campaigners and MPs.'