How we engage with communities

We come into contact with millions of passengers and lineside neighbours across the country each year

We invest our time in supporting local communities, creating positive relationships.

By collaborating with numerous industry partners who come together for the benefit of local communities, we’re able to connect communities with the environment and bring about lasting social impact. There’s no end to this important work and the new, unique opportunities this brings our volunteers.

Friends of Guide Bridge Memorial Garden

The Friends of Guide Bridge is made up of local community volunteers who work with us to improve Guide Bridge station in Manchester and its surrounding areas.

Our people, Northern and Carillion used volunteer leave to clear the land and lay the foundations, ready for the Friends of Guide Bridge to create three wild flower gardens and two planting troughs for fruit and vegetables. There’s also an area for railway safety training for local schools.

Reading station planting

Over two days, 20 people from Network Rail teams in Reading, Reading University and Kew Gardens, transformed a neglected strip of land at Reading station from 'urban scrub' into a wildflower meadow. The varieties of wildflower seeds were specially selected to attract wild bees and other pollinators.

It took just two days for the first shoots to start appearing, improving the appearance of Reading station and also contributing to Network Rail’s commitment to biodiversity offsetting.

Rail pastors in Scotland

Our Scotland route has continued to experience a rise in suicidal incidents on the railway. We’ve teamed up with Ascension Trust, British Transport Police (BTP), Police Scotland and Scottish Business Resilience Centre to provide training for ‘rail pastors’.

Rail pastors are present for people who are not confident travelling alone, need first aid or who are suffering from more serious problems such as poor mental health. They’re able to identify and support people who need help to get home or to a place of safety.

Rail ambassadors in Wales

We worked with the BTP and Gwent Police to develop ‘Fab Fridays’ – a youth group offering diversionary activities with subtle rail safety messaging to reduce antisocial behaviour incidents in the Caerphilly area. Since then, railway trespass and antisocial behaviour has decreased significantly.

The scheme was so successful that we developed an accredited Rail Life rail ambassadors volunteer scheme to allow peer-to-peer spreading of the rail safety message.

Track team volunteering

Our infrastructure projects department provides support to communities and the environment where there’s no funding, no public support and no local resource.

In 2016, people from its Track team gave 285 days of volunteer leave to support a local hospice, a heritage museum, and CLIC Sargent, our Charity of Choice from 2014 to October 2016.