Empowering communities to engage with rail

Community Rail Network is dedicated to supporting community-based groups and partnerships that connect their community with their railway and deliver social benefit.

Across Britain, over 70 community rail partnerships, plus hundreds of station friends and other groups and social enterprises, make up the community rail movement. It’s a growing movement delivering a range of activities that bring people together and help communities get the most from their railways, as well as helping our railways to thrive. These activities range from community gardening and arts projects on stations, to helping people with disabilities use rail, to advising train operators on meeting local needs: work carrying significant social and economic value.

Community Rail Network provides support, advice and information to the community rail movement through membership services and events. We share good practice and connect those working in community rail, while bringing together insights from the wider voluntary sector, rail industry and beyond.

We represent and advocate for community rail, providing a link between our members and national and devolved governments, partners and industry, promoting understanding of their contribution and how this can be nurtured. We also aim to raise awareness about community rail, explaining its importance, and promoting engagement with (and travel by!) community rail.

Community Rail Network's vision is...

A flourishing community rail movement connecting people and their railways, contributing to inclusive, empowered, sustainable and healthy communities.

Read our annual report

Community Rail Network's mission is...

To empower, support and champion the community rail movement, helping community rail partnerships and groups to:

  • Enhance the railways’ contribution to social inclusion, sustainable development and health and wellbeing, including by maximising access to and use of the railways.
  • Ensure the community has a voice and plays a part in the development and improvement of our railways, so this meets community needs and aspirations and delivers maximum social value.
  • Communicate the development and importance of railways to local communities, enhancing understanding and pride, and promoting rail as a key part of sustainable, healthy travel.

Read more about the community rail movement as a whole, its make-up and history

View community rail

Find out more about membership and getting involved locally

View how to join