Frequently Asked Questions
The Dartmoor Line is a railway running from Crediton to Okehampton and reopened in 2021 for daily passenger services to Exeter for the first time in nearly 50 years.
A working partnership of Network Rail, Great Western Railway and Devon County Council was successful in its bid to the Department for Transport to secure the funding to purchase and upgrade the line, which was the first to re-open under the Government's ‘Restoring your Railway’ initiative.
Since closure to regular passenger trains in 1972 and freight trains in 2008, the condition of the track had deteriorated and upgrade work was required before the line could safely open to daily passenger trains once again. You can see photos and videos of this work in our News section.
Returning regular, daily services to this line has been a long-held ambition of GWR, Network Rail, Devon County Council and the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership for a number of years and this is great news for customers and for the local economy.
The reopening of the line has been long-campaigned for by local communities, stakeholders and the rail industry.
The Dartmoor Line will help extend the reach and social and economic benefits of the railway, further supporting the communities it serves. Exeter is an employment hub for people in the Okehampton area and although it is linked to Exeter by the A30, traffic levels on routes into the city can be extremely congested at peak-times. With trains taking just 40 minutes (approximate journey time) to travel from Okehampton into the heart of Exeter, the reopening of the railway will encourage commuters to leave their car at home, reducing congestion and promoting more sustainable journeys.
The reopening of the line will not just benefit Okehampton. Towns such as Bude, Hatherleigh, Holsworthy and Launceston will be brought much closer to the rail network, unlocking these areas to train travel and paving the way for greener journeys to and from the region.
The initial two-hourly train service will be replaced from Sunday 15 May 2022 with an hourly service on the line. See the May-December 2022 PDF timetable.
Dartmoor Line trains is operated using Class 150, 158 and Turbo units. Most trains operate in 2-car formations, offering up to 130 seats per service and are fully compliant with the latest modern accessibility standards.
To bring the Dartmoor Line back into full operational use as quickly and safely as possible, a substantial amount of work needed to be carried out to the existing infrastructure.
Network Rail focused on assessing and renewing the track, bridges and drainage to allow the line to re-open in November 2021 with one train every two hours in service.
Further work in April-May 2022 to upgrade the infrastructure will enable the line speed to be increased, permitting an hourly passenger service to start from Sunday 15 May 2022.
The Department for Transport have provided the majority of the funding to allow the reopening as part of the flagship 'Restoring Your Railway' initiative.
All Dartmoor Line trains will use Platform 3 at Okehampton, which has step-free access from the front of the station.
The station has a ticket machine, customer help point, public address system, information screens, CCTV, Wi-Fi and Pay & Display car park (£2 a day).
We are also working with the local community to add new facilities to the station, including a café, Dartmoor National Park visitor centre, a shop and toilet facilities. All these are planned to open in 2022.
All Dartmoor Line trains stop at Exeter St Davids, Crediton and Okehampton. Selected services also stop at Exeter Central and Newton St Cyres.
All Dartmoor Line services stop at Crediton. Not only does this provide a regular service to Okehampton but it also increases the frequency of trains between Crediton and Exeter (2 trains an hour from May 2022 onwards).
Some of the level crossings are being upgraded with equipment to indicate whether it is safe to cross.
Network Rail has carried out inspections of all fencing and where repairs were needed these have been made. If you have concerns about fencing in your area, please contact the Network Rail National Helpline on 03457 711 4141 or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.