Great Western Railway has announced that that Saturday 20 Nov 2021 is the day when regular passenger rail services will once more connect Okehampton to Exeter and bring the railway much closer to Holsworthy and Bude. Amazing!
Connect Bude say:
It is a real triumph for community campaigning and just goes to show what can be achieved when people work together over many years to bring about such a positive outcome for people, for prosperity and for the planet. Sincere thanks are due to Okerail, to GWR, to Network Rail, to Devon County Council, to Dartmoor Railway Association, to the media, to many elected representatives and officers both locally and nationally, and to the whole community of this region who have supported the campaign to get the line reopened. It is fitting that the reopening will occur precisely 150 years since the line first opened in 1871.
When we set up Connect Bude on 15 Oct 2016, the first person to arrive at our inaugural meeting at The Parkhouse Centre was Dr Michael Ireland who is the Chair of Okerail. His support for Connect Bude’s aims and aspirations has been a source of continuous encouragement over five years. Connect Bude’s first stated aim was to support Okerail’s campaign to reopen the line to Okehampton. We can now move on to our next aim, which is to secure a fast, direct, dependable bus link from Bude, Stratton, Holsworthy and Halwill Junction to the station at Okehampton, as a first step towards getting the rail line extended towards Bude. Filling the ‘gap on the map’ by having trains heading through the current rail desert towards Bude, will be ‘levelling up’ in action!
The first train to leave Okehampton on Saturday 20 Nov will do so at 0739, arriving at Exeter St Davids just 38 minutes later.
Here is the link to The Dartmoor Line
Enjoy your first trip and remember to save your ticket – it could be worth a fortune in 150 years!
Finally please do come to our Connect Bude AGM and public meeting on Sat 30 Oct from 11am – 12 noon at The Falcon Hotel, Bude. We can promise you a warm welcome and three inspirational speakers from across the region, who will share their perspective on our campaign and give us further encouragement.