The scenic Looe Valley Line is cherished by both locals and visitors alike. Usage of the line has doubled in just 15 years, playing an important role in supporting the economy of South East Cornwall.
Developing the line
Our partnership has helped secure significant timetable improvements on the line, including additional Sunday services. Combined with our promotion of the line and improvements to stations, this has helped usage to double from 58,000 passengers per year in 2001 to more than 118,000 in 2016.
The Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership develops the line by:
Meeting three times a year, the Looe Valley Line Forum brings together the rail operator Great Western Railway (GWR), Network Rail, Liskeard Town Council, Looe Town Council, South East Cornwall Tourism Association and others. This enables ongoing dialogue, leading to new projects and enhanced understanding and cooperation.
Since 2006, we have helped Plymouth University students to improve the appearance of stations on the Looe Valley and Tamar Valley lines through our Rural Stations Project. Successes include the transformation of an overgrown former car park at St Keynes into an attractive riverside picnic area.
We promote the Looe Valley Line through our printed visitor guides that appear widely in leaflet racks, a dedicated section on our Great Scenic Railways website, on social media and in local and regional newspapers. We also promote the line at major London stations as part of the annual Community Rail in the City campaign, working with the South East Cornwall Tourism Association and other partners.
We incentivise local people to use the line more through promotion and events. This includes our ever-popular Munchtime Express, which sees local restaurants serving up taster lunches on board sell-out trains each November, on what would otherwise be quiet weekday services.
We have helped secure a range of improvements on the line – ranging from additional Sunday trains, to greener, more attractive stations, to operating a staffed ticket office at Looe station during the summer months, providing a valuable resource for tourists.