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Devon to get new sleeper train

"Take the lot or we'll be here all night" (image: Susanna Bennett/Alamy)

Exeter-Okehampton will take 10 hours

Devon is to get a new luxury train ‘sleeper’ service.

The premium overnight route will build on the success of Dartmoor Line, which came back into use in 2021 after being axed decades ago.

Running from Exeter Central to Okehampton, and sometimes back again, the service will provide dinner, bed and breakfast as it passes through the Devon countryside.

Based on the ‘slow’ movement, which encourages a more measured way of life, the 20-mile journey will take 10 hours, leaving passengers sufficient time for a ludicrously expensive dinner before retiring to their berths and then getting up again for an even more ludicrously expensive breakfast.

The fine dining menu includes slow-roasted fowl with gravy train for main, followed by fruit fool pudding.

Passengers will be expected to dress for dinner and undress for bed, or vice versa. Liveried staff will be on hand at all times to help, whether passengers want it or not.

The company behind the scheme, Koolep Frajilo, says the success of luxury train services globally shows that demand for quality never wanes. 

“It’s like the Orient Express,” said spokesperson Kanye B. Cirrius. “But instead of Venice, think Venn Ottery. For Budapest, we have Buckfastleigh. And while Umbria's out of the question, Umberleigh's a very real possibility given the number of times we re-route for signal failures.

"As well as the traditional services people have come to expect from train journeys in Devon - expensive tickets, blocked loos and an unrivalled ability to treat paying customers like criminals by threatening them with court action for not having the right tickets we've been unable to sell them - we'll now trap them on board overnight and pretend we care whilst fleecing them for every penny we can get."

Trains will run westerly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and eastbound on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays because, in the words of the train company, no one wants to be stuck in Okehampton on Sunday when there's nothing to do.

Although the final departure time hasn't been announced, the train operator says it will obviously be moments before the last buses connect with it, "because we know it frustrates the hell out of people and besides, we wouldn't want the type of passengers who rely on public transport."

They continued: "If this works, who knows where this could take us? Tavistock? Barnstaple? Westward Ho!? Some of these places even have railway stations."

Tickets for the Exeter-Okehampton service won't be available from closed ticket offices after 12 noon today.

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