WONDERFUL news that daily rail services are to restart between Okehampton and Exeter in Devon for the first time in nearly 50 years.
December has been pencilled in for the resumption of regular passenger services on the 14 mile route, which was closed as part of the Beeeching cuts.
Regular services were withdrawn in 1972, although the route has been used on Sundays in the summer since 1997.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps called re-opening the picturesque route a “milestone moment in our efforts to restore our railways”.
Network Rail is working with Great Western Railway to deliver the service with trains running every two hours, seven days a week.
Few believed that when the government announced that some Beeching closures would be reversed it would actually happen. but now this shows the way ahead. Further down the line is the trackbed of the old Southern Railway main line from London to Plymouth.
How marvellous it would be if this could be next to reopen, providing an alternative route from the capital to the West Country, avoiding the precarious sea wall route at Dawlish.
Local enterprises such as this show where the future of the railways lies, and we should applaud them. How much better for local lines to reopen than focusing on grand vanity projects.