Double success for Dartmoor Line as GWR triumphs at National Rail Awards
The hugely-successful reopening of the Dartmoor Line was recognised as Great Western Railway picked up a host of awards at last night’s ‘Railway Oscars’.
The Dartmoor Line picked up gongs for Outstanding Teamwork and Outstanding Contribution to Society at the prestigious National Rail Awards 2022.
Colleagues from GWR and Network Rail, who were instrumental in last year’s reopening of the line between Exeter and Okehampton, received the awards at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.
GWR Revenue Protection Inspector Matt Doyle, based at Taunton, and Lead Customer Host Lucy Hayden, from Swindon, both won Lifesaver Awards for helping a female who had gone into cardiac arrest.
And the train operator was also Highly Commended for Customer Service Excellence – Getting services and communications right; and as a Great Place to Work for its apprenticeships programme.
The Dartmoor Line reopened last November, restoring a regular, year-round service for the first time in almost 50 years as part of the Government’s £500 million manifesto commitment to Restore Your Railways.
Passenger numbers have exceeded expectations, with more than 120,000 journeys since opening at Okehampton – more than double forecast – and a further 40,000 additional journeys at Crediton.
GWR New infrastructure Delivery & Readiness Manager, Ian Mundy, who collected the awards at last night’s ceremony, said:
“We’re thrilled that the reopening of the Dartmoor Line has been recognised with not just one but two ‘Railway Oscars’. These awards are testament to the hard work of so many who campaigned for the line’s reinstatement and those who worked day and night to deliver the project £10m under budget.
“Hourly services commenced in May and the continued demand shows just how important good rail connections are for the community they serve.”
Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport, Cllr Andrea Davis, said:
“Devon County Council has led the charge over many years to have regular services up and running on this line again and it’s fantastic to see it has been so well supported by regular customers and holidaymakers.
“I was honoured to attend last night’s awards. The outstanding teamwork by everyone involved in the project has been recognised by judges, which is a resounding endorsement of the close partnership we have in Devon with the rail industry and our communities.”
Network Rail’s Rail Investment Centre of Excellence Director, Christian Irwin OBE, said:
“It is fantastic to see the outstanding teamwork from across all the partners who made the Dartmoor Line happen recognised, not only for what they were able to achieve in delivering the project in record timescales under budget, but also for the impact the railway is already having on the lives of our local communities.
“This project was far more than upgrading rail infrastructure, this was about reconnecting communities and providing new opportunities. We are delighted and very proud to receive both of these fantastic awards.”
Media and Communications Manager
Great Western Railway
0845 410 4444
Notes to editors
Main Picture: GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood, second from right, is joined by colleagues from GWR and Network Rail, plus, fourth from left, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport, Cllr Andrea Davis; and, fourth from right, Richard Burningham MBE, Manager of the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership
Inset: Lifesaver Award winners Lucy Hayden and Matt Doyle
First Greater Western Limited, trading as “Great Western Railway” (GWR), operates trains across the Great Western franchise area, which includes South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, across southern England and into London. GWR provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services, and before the covid-19 pandemic helped over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year. GWR has been awarded a National Rail Contract to continue operating the Great Western network, which shall run up to 21 June 2025, with the potential for a further three years at the Secretary of State’s discretion. Find out more here: https://www.gwr.com/about-us