OkeRail have announced that three special trains are to run including the first ever train to depart to Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon with a Pullman dining coach.
The ‘Royal Oke’ train will leave Okehampton at 7am and will allow five or six hours in Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon before returning to Okehampton at 9pm. The first of the three trains is expected to leave at the end of April.
Okerail have been working with Great Western Railway (GWR) for the benefit of West Devon people and to give them a foretaste of the long –hoped for regular service to Exeter and beyond.
Two further special services are planned, one possibly to the seaside town of Tenby and another train to London. Dr Michael Ireland the vice-chair of Okerail, at a recent meeting at Devon County Hall, made the case for
Okehampton Parkway as a station to serve West Devon and North Cornwall.
He stressed the need for connectivity with a coach service from Bude tying in with train times and has urged bus and train companies to start talking. At another meeting at Exeter St Davids Dr Ireland reported that GWR trial service between Okehampton to Exeter would initially be a one every two hour service.
Pressure for an inland rail route from Plymouth to Exeter via Tavistock and Okehampton was building as yet again the coastal route via Dawlish was cut last week as Storm Emma hit the South Devon coast, disabling the only rail service beyond Dawlish.