Community Rail News – 8 April 2020

Community Rail News – 8 April 2020

9 Apr, 2020

Hello everyone. We hope you’re keeping well. Thank you for sharing with us the growing range of fantastic examples of community rail adapting and supporting your communities in different ways during the Covid-19 crisis. You can read about some of these below, and we’ll be sharing more in coming weeks, so keep your stories coming to

Read on for several bits of big news from us this week – all of which we hope will help provide community rail with a boost in these challenging times.

Don’t forget, you can access our basic advice for members on Covid-19 here, and please continue to keep up-to-date with government advice, follow it, and share with others.


We are now the Community Rail Network

Hopefully it hasn’t passed you by that we have now changed to the Community Rail Network: a more inclusive, open, forward-looking identity, which should help us get the community rail word out to wider audiences. We have been using the rebrand to promote the message that community rail is keeping active and looking to the future, and that we hope to play an even stronger role as our communities and railways rebuild. Read more.

All members and funders should have received a logo pack and guidance. Contact Nik if you need advice, and please help spread the word! Thank you for all the positive comments already.


Impact tool

We have been working to support members to understand, demonstrate and evidence the outcomes (changes) your work is achieving. This has led to us working with Impact Reporting to develop a tool to enable members to track and record activities and associated changes. It should be useful for:

  • Capturing data and feedback while out and about
  • Collating evidence for funding bids, reports and communications
  • Prioritising activities to maximise impact

It’s user-friendly and suitable for any CRP or station group, but up to you if and how you use it. While most community rail activities are paused, it could be a good time to reflect on how it could help you. All members will get sign-up details this week. Find out more.


Community Rail Awards update

Many of you have been asking about this year’s Awards opening for entries. We have therefore published our entry booklet a little early, to enable you to review the categories and criteria, and start planning your entry. The entry form goes live next week, so see next week’s bulletin.

We also have some news about the Awards night itself. We have concluded that the originally publicised date of 1 October is no longer viable, with train operators emergency measures in place for six months. We have therefore provisionally secured 9 December with the Guildhall in Southampton, so please change the date in your diaries. We know that December can be very busy, so isn’t ideal, but this was the optimum option for now, all things considered. We’re sorry if it causes issues. We will of course keep this date under close review, and will communicate in the coming months if we foresee this becoming unviable. Please do proceed with entering – whatever happens, your entries will still be considered!


Do not travel messages

We know many members have done this already, but wanted to ask that all community rail websites or social media feeds display a ‘do not travel’ message, making clear that our railways are only for essential use at the moment. There’s a good example at


Home learning and creative ideas

We have added to our page of inspiration for community rail encouraging and supporting home learning and creative activities: see the list  and let us know what you’re doing.


Transport consultations

There are two national consultations underway some members may be interested in:

  • Transport decarbonisation plan, DfT – a major consultation exercise exploring how transport can be made sustainable, and public transport and active travel made the natural choice. The Community Rail Network will be responding and suggesting how community rail can be engaged. Members can also register interest in attending workshops, or feed in views in writing. See p65-68 of the consultation document;
  • Rural buses,the County All Party Parliamentary Group and County Councils network – a simple three question form asking about the state of rural buses. Download the form, and note the deadline of 15 May. 

Keep safe and well,
Jools and Richard


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