The Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership, with the support of local councillors, is striving to increase passenger numbers on the Tamar Valley Line, which currently remain lower than pre-pandemic levels.

The rail partnership, which receives data directly from Great Western Railway — the sole operator on the single track which stretches between Plymouth and Gunnislake — has revealed that the line continues to bear the effects of the pandemic, with passenger figures at one third lower than 2019.

In the first 16 week period of the year to the end of April, 54,397 journeys were made in 2019, whereas this year saw 45,176 (including four strike days), however this year’s figure is a 25.5% increase from last year, with Great Western Railway registering a return ticket as two journeys.

Manager for the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership Richard Burningham said: ‘As a major commuter line serving a local population of up to 10,000, we attribute current figures to a change in working patterns in the last few years. Every other branch line across the two counties has seen an increase from 2019 figures; we’re working to see what we can do to attract more custom to the line.’

A number of new iniatives have recently been launched to boost passenger numbers, such as a Carnet half-price ticket offer and special music line services featuring local performers.

The line is also being promoted digitally to tourists under the name Great Scenic Railways which can be found online and on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. The partnerhsip’s account on TikTok, showcasing various destinations on the line, has amassed nearly 26,000 followers and can be found using the handle @great.scenic.railways