Network Rail has urged people to avoid attempting to access the Dartmoor line as the number of trains running along the tracks increases from Monday.
Work to reopen the Dartmoor Line by the end of this year is progressing well, with the final phase of work involving trains running the 14 mile stretch of railway to test the new track.
The increased activity starts from next week and during this time the two pedestrian crossings – which are being modernized – will be temporarily closed for safety reasons. The other four level crossings built by users will remain open and will only be accessible by authorized farmers and their representatives.
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Network Rail’s engineering team is continuing the remaining work on the Dartmoor line, including the installation of the new GSM-R masts – the railway’s mobile communication system – completing the necessary drainage works, installing fencing and repairing some of the bridges. This follows the confirmation of government funding in March and the successful relay of 11 miles of new track, 24,000 ties and 29,000 tonnes of ballast in May.
Christian Irwin, Industrial Program Director for Network Rail, said: “As we move into this next phase of work to reopen the Dartmoor line, we urge people not to attempt to cross the track for their own safety and that. of those who work on the line and operate trains.
“From next week there will be a significant increase in train activity on the line and pedestrian crossings will be closed.
“This is an exciting time for us and we want to make sure the local community continues to stay safe as we continue to work hard to reopen the Dartmoor Line by the end of the year.”
With a journey time of around 40 minutes to reach Exeter St Davids, the Dartmoor Line will provide easy access between Okehampton and Exeter.
The tentative plan for this year will see trains every two hours in each direction, seven days a week, between Okehampton, Crediton and Exeter St Davids, including services for daily commuters.
About half of the daily services Monday through Friday will be extended to and from Exeter Central, including major peak services.
At a later date, weekend services will be extended to and from Exeter Central where possible.
By 2022, additional infrastructure work will take place on the road to allow GWR to increase hourly service in 2022.
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