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Community Rail News – 14 December 2022

Hello everyone. We hope you’re all keeping safe and well in this incredibly cold weather, and we hope this final bulletin of the year brings you some festive warmth and cheer, especially the wonderful selection of stories from our members below. We’re also pleased to bring some positive news on how we’re developing our work as we move into 2023.

Education Network secondment

We are delighted to tell you that Community Rail Lancashire’s education team leader Karen Bennett will be seconded to Community Rail Network for three days a week from 1 January, for six months initially. Working as education & youth engagement adviser, Karen will help us to develop our support of members across Britain on education, schools and youth engagement, considering how we can build on best practice, further develop the Education Network, and take community rail into wider education and youth settings. Read more here.

Tackling Loneliness with Transport

Work is progressing on our ground-breaking project looking at innovative and participatory approaches to engaging young people with transport in order to tackle loneliness and improve confidence, wellbeing and access to opportunity among some of the most at-risk groups. Three pilot projects are now up-and-running, being delivered by Severnside and Gloucestershire CRPs, CRL and Catch22. Find out more.

Transport Select Committee

We felt it was worth highlighting comments made at the Transport Select Committee by the new Secretary of State for Transport Mark Harper MP (listen to the session here), which covered Great British Railways, industrial action, and major rail projects. On GBR, Mr Harper said he wanted to achieve the intentions behind the Plan for Rail of having a more integrated position and a guiding mind, but wanted to take some time to look at differing views. Mr Harper said they were considering options for legislation in the fourth session, but some things could be done without legislation. With regard to ticket offices (which we know is of concern to many of you) Mr Harper made the point that only 12% of ticket purchases are now made in rail ticket offices, so they are looking at how ticket offices will operate in the future.

We continue to liaise with the DfT on this and a range of issues to ensure the voices of community rail are heard and your insights and experiences can play a strong role in rail transformation as it unfolds.

Station adoption feature

In the new year we will be putting together a special feature for Community Rail News on the fantastic work of station adoption groups across the network. We’re particularly keen to know about the rich history of your stations, and how they have evolved over time. Please email Erin by Friday 27 January on, with your content, ideas or to discuss further. 

Online session on Rail Social Value Tool

The Rail Social Value Tool (RSVT) is an online tool developed specifically for the GB rail industry to monitor and measure the social value of its projects and day-to-day operations. At our online information session on Wednesday 18 January, 10-11am, Tom Hall from RSSB will outline the background to the tool, explain how and why the rail industry is using it and discuss opportunities for community rail to engage with it. This session is for Community Rail Network members only. Book your place here.

If you have any news stories, please email our communications team on

Your next bulletin is on 11 January. Keep up-to-date in between on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Festive best wishes to all,
Jeremy and Jools