Trains to Okehampton this summer

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Drsatan, 3 May 2011.

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  1. Drsatan

    Drsatan Established Member

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    Hey everyone,

    Does anyone know whether there will be any through trains operating from Exeter to Okehampton as there have been in previous years? I've looked on the FGW and Dartmoor Railway websites, and none of them mention these trains.
     
  2. 323235

    323235 Established Member

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    Yes they are and can be found in the new May-Sept FGW Tarka Line timetable
     
  3. ajax103

    ajax103 Established Member

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  4. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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  5. ACE1888

    ACE1888 Member

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    Rode the 'Okey' last year, station alone there is worth a visit, and we had 'Thumper' action between there and Meldon, great day out!
    [​IMG]
    Thumper entering Okehampton from Meldon.
     
    Last edited: 3 May 2011
  6. ajax103

    ajax103 Established Member

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    I thought they might run on a Saturday though, didn't see the workings on Sunday though.
     
  7. steamybrian

    steamybrian Established Member

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    I travelled on the Exeter-Okehampton service about two years ago and purchased the tickets on the train.
    The ticket office at Exeter St Davids could not issue tickets and advised me that was the procedure.
     
  8. starrymarkb

    starrymarkb Established Member

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    the train is chartered by Devon County Council hence the buy on train only
     
  9. 185

    185 Established Member

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    As far as I remember, Okehampton tickets can only be bought from certain origins and certain points of sale.
     
  10. TEW

    TEW Established Member

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    You can buy tickets to Okehampton from most stations in Devon. Normal rail rovers that would be valid on the Barnstaple line are also valid to Okehampton now, although they weren't a few years ago. I believe tickets can now be bought at the ticket office, they can certainly be bought online now.
     
  11. Drsatan

    Drsatan Established Member

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    Thanks for your help guys, I've found the Okehampton trains in the May Tarka Line timetable :)

    I think one of the first franchise requirements of the new Greater Western franchise is that the successful franchisee has to run a daily service from Exeter to Okehampton. Having a service seven days a week to Exeter would probably boost the town's fortunes enormously.
     
  12. imagination

    imagination Member

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    Would it actually be possible to make that a franchise commitment?
     
  13. TEW

    TEW Established Member

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    At the moment there is no stock to run it, hence it only runs on Sundays. DCR is looking at running it as an open access operation. The location of Okehampton station within the town won't help demand for the service.
     
  14. Oliver

    Oliver Member

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    What makes you think it is a franchise requirement?
     
  15. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    All the SLC says is
    This is from May 2008; I can't lay my hands on a more recent one at present
     
  16. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Member

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    Not only Sundays, but Summer Sundays, when FGW has a couple of units on loan for the summer (IIRC they had an ATW 150 last year). I'm also not sure that there's much spare capacity on the Tarka Line between Crediton and Cowley Bridge Junction during the week to allow another seperate service every day. Clearly there's some if DCR think that they can mange it, but it'll be tight.

    I think that there might be a business case for a daily service, especially given the number of job losses in the town of late - I suspect a lot more people will be commuting to Exeter with a number of new job oppertunities coming up there.
     
  17. TEW

    TEW Established Member

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    There is usually enough spare stock on Sundays because there are less services running. It probably could be run on Winter Sundays but I don't think there is much demand for it. Pathing the services would be trick between Crediton at Cowley Bridge Junction. I think an hourly service to both Okehampton and Barnstaple would leave the timetable with no chance to recover but two-hourly to Okehampton may be possible.
     
  18. Oliver

    Oliver Member

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    High employment is more likely to encourage train travel than unemployment. There is a fast road from Okehampton to Exeter and plenty of buses. Okehampton station is a poorly located. I just don't see a commercial service being viable.
     
  19. Arellcat

    Arellcat New Member

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    I've been wondering about connections to Okehampton, too. After the National Rail portal repeatedly told me that it couldn't find any trains, I went back to the current version of Network Rail's full timetable. That suggests only the roughly two hourly service on Sundays until the end of summer. Until reading this thread I'd no idea that the service was quite so limited. It narrows down my holiday arrangements a bit!
     
  20. TEW

    TEW Established Member

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    Yeh, only runs on Summer Sundays. The rest of the week there is a bus from Exeter St Davids to Okehampton which takes about the same time as the train. Through tickets are available which include the bus to Okehampton as well. It's reasonably priced as well, just £3.90 extra on a single or £5.40 extra on a day return.
     
  21. Flying Snail

    Flying Snail Member

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    The bus service appears to take 50-55mns with the rail slightly quicker and it is not so frequent to make an hourly rail service competitive. I am not familiar with the town so cannot comment on the downside of the location but it wouldn't be unique in having a relatively remote station, plenty of other towns are similar and still generate decent passenger numbers.

    If an hourly connection into the current Tarka line service was possible it would be a cheap way of providing a start-up service to see if enough traffic could be generated, particularly if it could be done with the addition of just one extra unit. The timings Okehampton-Crediton seem a little tight for a 60min round trip and it would mean having 3 trains in Crediton in the space of a few minutes but it may be possible. Having a connection at Yeoford would definitely work timing wise but I assume a good deal of work would be needed here to bring the second platform back into use. Considering how much investement is needed to re-instate services to other towns the relatively small outlay needed here for a quick addition to the network seems to be an opportunity wasted.
     
  22. TEW

    TEW Established Member

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    The second platform at Yeoford was being rebuilt by the Dartmoor Railway to allow connections with the FGW services, but progress has been very slow. DCR also submitted an open access proposal to run trains from Okehampton to Exeter.

    The station at Okehampton is terribly located, about 1/2 mile out of the town, up a big hill.

    Direct buses only take 45 minutes between Okehampton and Exeter City Centre and the service is fairly frequent, the train will probably find it hard to compete.
     
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