Community Rail in the City

Today (May 15) we’re bringing Community Rail into the heart of the city.

Representatives from more than 40 Community Rail Partnerships will promote sustainable travel for tourism and recreation at some of Britain’s biggest railway stations.

It’s part of an annual community rail event Community Rail in the City. Today, we’ve invited Community Rail Partnerships to 10 of our managed stations to provide inspiration and information to help local families, tourists and day trippers plan visits to Britain’s best destinations by rail.

An 18-feet replica of the Mayflower ship, bagpipers and flash mob dancers are among the sights being brought into city-centre stations in celebration of Community Rail and the communities they serve.

What is Community Rail?

It’s any community-based partnership, organisation, social enterprise or group of volunteers seeking to benefit their local community and railway.

At its most local level, Community Rail is most visible as station adoption, where a group of like-minded individuals come together to improve their station above the basic cleanliness, safety and security level train operators need to meet for their own compliance.

disley community rail station clean up

It’s often seen through the development of community gardens or planters on platforms - there are approximately 1,500 of these schemes nationally working with the local train operator.

In some locations, community groups have formed to take over disused or underused railway buildings, including signal boxes, to develop community hubs based on their local needs.

These areas range from cafes to community spaces and in some cases have formed part of a wider regeneration of the station area.

Community Rail on the Marston Vale Line

Community Rail Partnerships cover a larger geographical area and focus on the local needs for railways in their communities. For example, many Community Rail Partnerships engage with schools and communities which don’t normally use the railway to improve social mobility, as well as promoting local tourism accessible via rail in their local area.

If you’re interested in finding out more about community rail or getting involved, please get in touch on CommunityRail@networkrail.co.uk.