Community Rail in the Midlands and East of England is made up of 14 community rail partnerships and 160 station groups, carrying out projects to bring improvements to rail services and stations, with improved accessibility and inclusion, and help communities to have a voice in rail and transport development, working with train operators, local authorities and other partners. This activity involves over 1,000 volunteers, giving over 46,000 hours annually to help improve social inclusion, sustainable and healthy travel, wellbeing, economic development, and tourism in their local area, valued at £3.9 million. They will also play a pivotal role in supporting local resilience efforts and help to position rail as a vital component of a greener, more inclusive way forward as part of the ‘green recovery’ from Covid.

Case studies

The positives of 2020, an increased sense of community and a willingness to help others, have been witnessed in abundance across our network. Existing volunteer groups have continued their efforts and new groups have been established, a remarkable achievement given the backdrop of national and local restrictions.

Margaret Smith, Heart of England Community Rail Partnership