Community Rail

Working with local people to help communities get the most from their railways.

What is Community Rail?

Community rail is a growing, grassroots movement that helps communities get the most from their local railway.

There are 75 community rail partnerships (CRPs) – community-based organisations working to promote and enhance local railway lines – and over 1,200 station ‘friends’ groups across Britain, and these numbers are growing each year. 

Community Rail Network is the umbrella body for community partnerships, groups, and social enterprises working to connect communities with their railways, delivering social, environmental, and economic benefit.

Community Rail Network:

  1. Support and advise the community rail movement through membership services and events;
  2. Represent and advocate for community rail, sharing good practice and connecting community rail partnerships and station groups together;
  3. Work with government, the rail and transport industry, and wider voluntary and community sector organisations to champion community rail.

Keep up to date with future news, projects and events from Community Rail Network via social media or sign up to receive Community Rail News.

Benefits of community rail

Community rail delivers wide-ranging community engagement initiatives and community-led projects, which play an important role in social inclusion, wellbeing, and economic development. 

The movement promotes and widens access to rail as a key part of sustainable, healthy travel, while advising rail partners on local needs, helping communities get the most from their railways and have a voice on transport.

Community rail and the interaction with Governments


The Connecting Communities with the Railways is the government’s community rail strategy for England and Wales.  Its approach supports community rail organisations to flourish as inclusive, independent, and sustainable groups, to deliver the strategy’s four key pillars:

  • Providing a voice for the community
  • Promoting sustainable, healthy and accessible travel
  • Bringing communities together and supporting diversity and inclusion
  • Supporting social and economic development

Great British Railways: the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail prioritises community rail. Under the new organisation, Great British Railways: “Community rail partnerships will be empowered to strengthen rail’s social and economic impact.” 


ScotRail in the Community aims to make the railway an engine of social and economic regeneration; to generate engagement with local communities and support Scotland’s social, environmental, and economic objectives.


Transport for Wales wants to be good neighbours and work closely with local communities, through Community Rail Partnerships and an ‘Adopt a Station’ scheme.

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