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Find out about the strategy and why the Government is supporting local communities in having their say on the future of the railway.
These are local groups which can be formed to support their station. They tend to work mainly with the Train Operating Company(TOC) and their activities could include: • reporting problems and maintenance issues • developing station gardens • promotional activities such as station galas They also actively promote station adoption. If a friends group identifies an issue requiring rapid attention by Network Rail, they should get in touch with us.
For issues which are not urgent, you should contact the TOC first and they will advise you on the best course of action.
Interested in helping to run your local railway? Find out how you can get involved and start a community rail line in your area.
Once a line has been designated as a Community Rail line, it can lead to: • Changes in the way the line is managed with the local community having more say on issues such as fares and timetables if they can show it will improve the financial performance of the service. • The line being identified as one needing particular attention to review how standards are being implemented and how maintenance is carried out. • Reinforcing the role of the Community Rail partnership in bringing together local stakeholders in developing the line.
The changes you’ll see Whether it’s through the Community Rail Partnership or the Train Operating Companies (TOC), the benefits of being designated as a Community Rail line or service could include: • Bespoke solutions for Community Rail lines • Greater involvement of the local community in the timetable and fares • Greater local decision-making on connections policies • Examination of how standards are specified regarding maintenance and renewal of infrastructure, to help put the lines on a sustainable footing for the future • Making station development easier and cheaper and more appropriate to the local environment • Minor changes to stations, such as relocation of facilities • Innovative approaches to providing better disabled access to stations • Risk-based approach to infrastructure enhancements to find lower cost solutions • Removal of the requirement for infrastructure to meet European interoperability standards
Changes to how the line is managed Designation could also see an increased focus on promoting the line in the local area and raising its profile both locally and in the railway industry as a whole. It also encourages train operators, Network Rail, local authorities and the local community to work together to make the most out of opportunities provided by the railway. It passes more power to TOCs to change timetables and fares in consultation with the community rail partnership and also gives opportunities to flex contractual requirements so they can find more cost-effective ways to deliver the service.
You’ll find plenty of information on the following websites:
Department for Transport
The Association of Community Rail Partnerships
If you’re part of a community group such as a Community Rail partnership or Station Friends Group, find out how we work with you on the railway.
It depends on the station and what work is planned. The Train Operating Company (TOC) will be able to give guidance, but if the area is not part of the station they lease from Network Rail, then you’ll need to ask permission from us first. Find out how to contact us We have developed a community licence agreement to give community groups safe and controlled access to these areas to carry out environmental improvements. These arrangements are not applicable in all circumstances. Visit our Community Schemes page
Large scale projects For more substantial works, such as building work, both the TOCs and Network Rail must be involved in any station project. Normally, the TOC will agree to a scope of work with the community group for which they will then seek ‘Landlord consent’ from Network Rail. Where the works may impact on the operational railway, this might require direct management by Network Rail for all or part of the project. At the very least, ‘asset protection’ will be required to manage the interface with the operational railway and check that appropriate arrangements are in place to manage the safety of the railway and anyone working on or near it.
Find out more about asset protection
For all schemes, the initial point of contact is the TOC. They can tell you whether your scheme falls in their area or whether you need to speak to Network Rail. For schemes within the railway’s boundary, the Community Rail Team is a good place to start.
There are no changes to existing arrangements, where processes are already in place such as with the Passenger Transport Executives (PTEs) in metropolitan areas.
Working with ACoRP and CRPs around the country, we are taking some positive steps to address a number of empty properties. If we can identify suitable properties and suitable community-use tenants, we’ll make it as easy as possible to put these buildings back into productive use. This may mean less commercial lease terms in some instances. In the first instance, speak to the Train Operating Company (TOC) responsible for the station. If the property is outside their lease area they will pass you on to our estates teams. If you feel you have not got the response you hoped for please contact Community Rail.
If the enquiry is commercial, you’ll need to follow the advice on our Property section.
Heritage railways are not generally part of the national network. They are owned by a number of different bodies and companies and exceptionally by Network Rail. For details of operating railways, visit the Heritage Railway Association website.
In all cases, the first approach for any initiative should be to the company or group managing the line. They’ll contact us if it’s appropriate. The Head of Community Rail will initially work with any heritage railway that needs to deliver a new scheme which impacts on the national network. Once the scheme is clearly developed, its outputs clearly defined and there’s a reasonable prospect that the resources needed can be secured, it will be passed across to a Scheme Sponsor who will take the scheme forward through the various stages of project delivery process.