OKEHAMPTON Station has been named as the Small Station of the Year at last night’s (Thursday, September 14) “Railway Oscars” following the hugely-successful reopening of the Dartmoor Line.
The station picked up the gong having beaten off stiff competition from hundreds of stations nationwide at the prestigious National Rail Awards 2023.
Colleagues from GWR who were instrumental in the reopening of the line between Exeter and Okehampton in November 2021, received the award at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.
Mel Harvey, station manager Mid-Devon, said: “Winning this award is testament to our amazing team who look after Okehampton, ensuring it looks just as good today as it did the day it reopened two years ago.
“In that time, it has become a focal point for our community, a transport hub with buses connecting to our services, and of course a thriving railway station linking Okehampton and West Devon with Exeter and beyond."
The Dartmoor Line reopened in November 2021 with support from Network Rail, 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 far exceeded expectations, with more than 120,000 journeys in the first year – more than double forecast – and a further 40,000 additional journeys at Crediton.
As part of the reopening, GWR worked with Devon County Council and bus operators to provide onward bus connections directly from Okehampton station to other parts of Devon and Cornwall, with buses meeting rail services.
The train operator was also commended in the Outstanding Teamwork category for its work with West Midlands Grand Railway Collaboration – Commonwealth Games Rail Travel.