Businesses in Cornwall are today (April 4) breathing a collective sigh of relief with the reopening of the mainline rail route from London to Cornwall.
The line was closed in early February after the stretch of track at Dawlish was damaged by the dramatic storms that hit the south coast.
Cornwall Council leader, John Pollard, said it was “excellent news” and praised the efforts of Network Rail for reopening the line earlier than had been originally predicted.
He said: “Over the past two months everyone has worked together to keep Cornwall connected, with staff from First Great Western and Cross Country Trains ensuring that transport services were maintained while the rain line was shut. Now the line has reopened we will be working with First Great Western to promote travelling to Cornwall by train.
“Cornwall Council is committed to supporting rail travel and we will now be working with our MPs and other partners to ensure that the Government invests in long term solutions to ensure that there is a sustainable rail link to and from Cornwall. It is not acceptable for the main rail link to be shut for long periods of time and we look forward to seeing this commitment from the Government.”
The reopening of the rail line in time for the Easter break has also been welcomed by Visit Cornwall head, Malcolm Bell. He said: “Everyone has pulled together to ensure that Cornwall has remained Open for Business. There were also additional flights operated by Flybe from Newquay Cornwall Airport to London.
“The reopening of the line from Paddington to Penzance is the final piece of the puzzle.”
The popular Night Riveria Sleeper Service from London to Cornwall also resumes today and to mark the ocasion, Visit Cornwall has created a short film to illustrate the romance and nostalgia of the journey.