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Dartmoor Line wins national Rail Innovation Award

The project to reopen the Exeter to Okehampton Railway for passenger services has won the Major Project prize at the 2022 Railway Innovation Awards.

The Railway Innovation Awards, the longest standing scheme in the industry, are organised by the Modern Railways Fourth Friday Club in partnership with the Railway Industry Association. Prizes were awarded in eight categories (plus a special award) at a lunchtime ceremony held at the Hilton London Canary Wharf on 1 July, with trophies for the winners and certificates for Highly Commended entries.

The Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership are proud to have supported the Dartmoor Line project, and over the past year have been working closely with Great Western Railway, Network Rail and the local community on plans for reopening the line after nearly 50 years of closure.

It was the first scheme to be delivered as part of the Government’s ‘Restoring your Railways’ initiative and was also subject to the application of Project Speed principles, which meant the initial reopening was 21 months ahead of the original programme and more than £10 million cheaper than the business case submitted.

The reopening was a fantastic achievement for campaigners in the local community who have long championed the return of the line, as well as for volunteers from the Dartmoor Railway Association who have worked tirelessly to preserve and enhance Okehampton Station and its facilities. You can read more about the reopening of the line, which took place in November 2021, here.

Trains along the Dartmoor Line now run hourly, seven days a week, all year round. You can find out more, as well as look up and buy tickets, on the Dartmoor Line website.

A full write-up on the Railway Innovation Awards will appear in the Rail Innovation supplement to the August 2022 issue of Modern Railways. The full list of winners can be found here.