Thursday 19 Jan 2023
Network Rail welcomes new funding in rail for the south west
Network Rail has welcomed funding announced today (19 January) by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities for two new transformational rail schemes in the south west.
In Cornwall, nearly £50 million will be invested to create a direct train service linking Newquay, St Austell, Truro, and Falmouth alongside better walking and cycling access to stations.
In Devon, there will be £13.5 million for a new railway station on the eastern edge of Okehampton - the West Devon Transport Hub - complete with high quality cycle facilities and EV charging points on site to better connect communities and promote active travel.
The decision has been celebrated by Network Rail’s Western route as it builds on a series of other railway improvements in recent years.
That includes electrification of the Great Western Main Line which has enabled the introduction of GWR’s new trains which provide thousands more seats and more frequent services from the south west to London. It also builds on the success of the Dartmoor Line between Exeter and Okehampton which was reopened in 2021. The previously mothballed line was restored in just nine months and delivered £10m under budget. In the first year of service it has seen incredible patronage with over 250,000 journeys - more than double the demand originally forecast.
David Davidson, Network Rail’s interim Western route director, said: “We are delighted more funding has been made available to transform the railway in the south west.
“Newquay’s peak summer season sees the population grow from 20,000 to over 100,000, making it the top destination in Cornwall. The railway needs this investment to better cope with this seasonal growth in demand.
“The Dartmoor line has surpassed expectations so further investment will build on this success by further improving connectivity for this part of the region. We look forward to working with UK Government, GWR and other partners to deliver these transformational schemes.”
Notes to Editors
- A £50 million grant will help create a new direct train service, linking four of Cornwall’s largest urban areas: Newquay, St Austell, Truro, and Falmouth/Penryn. This will level up access to jobs, skills, education, and amenities in one of the most economically disadvantaged areas in the UK.
- In Devon, there will be £13.5 million for a new railway station on the eastern edge of Okehampton - the West Devon Transport Hub - complete with high quality cycle facilities and EV charging points on site to better connect communities and promote active travel.
Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41
Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.