On 28 March 2024, despite the intervention of the British climate, the National Railway Heritage Awards Plaque at Okehampton was officially unveiled.
The plaque unveiled was the 2023 Avanti West Coast Community Award which had been made to Network Rail, Great Western Railway, Dartmoor Railway Association and the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership. The award had originally been announced at the annual award ceremony held in London in early December 2023.
The weather was particularly difficult due to the arrival of Storm Nelson overnight which had brought issues with flooding, gale-force winds and snow which caused issues on many routes to, and in the south-west and particularly on the route from Exeter to Okehampton.
Originally, there had been a reasonably high take up of attendees from NRHA, but in the event Andy Savage (Chairman), Malcolm Wood ( Awards Manager & Trustee) and Mike Senatore (NRHA Judge) arrived at Okehampton; Robert Hayward (Awards Manager & Trustee) also made it to Okehampton but due to train delays unfortunately arrived after the unveiling had taken place.
Thank are due to Mike Senatore, who assisted by taking the NRHA attendees and DCRP representative from Crediton to Okehampton by road when the intended train was cancelled due to a fallen tree on the route.
Several other prospective attendees also made a great effort to arrive in Exeter, but in the end had to turn back.
A simple unveiling ceremony saw Andy Savage (NRHA Chair), Richard Burningham (DCRP Manager) and Sue Baxter (DRA Chair) reveal the award plaque from behind a Devon county flag. Richard Burningham welcomed the attendees and explained the history of the reopening of the route and the work carried out and the importance of the station to the community, reflected in the level of support which the community had given. Sue Baxter spoke on behalf of the local community and explained the positive impact which the station has delivered to the local area.
Andy Savage, speaking on behalf of the NRHA and Avanti West Coast, sponsors of the community award, reflected on the quality of the scheme, the importance to the local and wider communities and the delight which entries of this quality bring to the National Railway Heritage Awards.

The unveiled plaque at Okehampton with, from left, Andy Savage, chairman of the NRHA, Sue Baxter, chairman of the Dartmoor Railway Association, and Richard Burningham, manager of the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership.

The restored station at Okehampton – the winner of the Avanti West Coast Community Award at the 2023 National Railway Heritage Awards.