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Rail tourism delivers huge boost to the economy

Girl looking out of train window

New research published by the Rail Delivery Group has found that three of the South West’s iconic branch lines are leading a £2 billion national boost to the economy through rail tourism.

The research uses data from Visit England and the GB Tourism Survey to look at the country’s top tourist destinations. Three of the South West’s iconic seaside beauty spots – all served by branch lines supported by the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership – are amongst the highest-ranking areas in the country to benefit from rail tourism:

  • Torbay – £10.8 million of economic benefit and 8% of jobs supported
  • Newquay – £9.7 million of economic benefit and 6% of jobs supported
  • St Ives – £5.9 million of economic benefit and 5% of jobs supported

The Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership promotes trips to each of these areas through its Great Scenic Railways website, Facebook and Twitter presence, local newspaper campaigns and more.

Richard Burningham, Manager of the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership, said:

“The ease of getting to Devon and Cornwall by train led to the two counties becoming the massively popular tourist destinations they are today and, as this very welcome research shows, the railway continues to play a huge role in bringing visitors to the region’s seaside towns and villages, to the year-round benefit of the local economy.

“The new trains now being introduced by GWR on the London route plus significant increases in local services in Devon and Cornwall coming in 2019 will see the railways’ contribution to the region grow further still and will also encourage even more people, local residents and visitors, to leave the car at home and take the train.”

Read more about the research on the Rail Delivery Group’s website.