Community Rail News – 21 July 2021

Hi everyone. I hope this finds you well and you’re making the most of the warm weather. It continues to be a busy time for us, and we have some exciting plans coming up in the Autumn we wanted to share with you early. As always, if you have any feedback, or to contribute stories to future editions, contact

Covid guidance update

Guidance around Covid in England changed on Monday 19 July. Please continue to keep up-to-date with the requirements for EnglandScotland and Wales and your area and do as much as you can to keep yourself and others safe. Our updated guidance for community rail is here, and let our team know if you’d like further advice. You may also be interested to see RDG’s rail industry materials and messaging here.

Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail update

Since the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail was published we have been liaising with the Department for Transport on community rail’s position and opportunities to make an enhanced contribution in the future. We already issued a briefing on the plan and brief summary on National Rail Contracts. We are now developing a community rail FAQs on rail reform, putting our members’ queries to the DfT. This will include the structure of Great British Railways, timescales, funding for community rail, and future relationships with CRPs and station groups. We will share this in the next issue of Community Rail News, and will keep updating as more details emerge. The DfT stated: “Community rail partnerships can be assured that they are supported, and will continue to be so, as we go through the transformation. We look forward to working with them on the different aspects in the weeks and months ahead.” Should you have any queries, please speak to your usual contact in our team.

Transport Decarbonisation Plan

The Department for Transport recently launched its Transport Decarbonisation Plan (TDP), setting out the government’s commitments and actions needed to decarbonise the UK transport system. Alongside this, the DfT published its Rail Environment Policy Statement, setting the direction for the rail industry on environmental sustainability, which recognises the role of community rail in supporting rail sustainability. This document outlines policy priorities for the Sustainable Rail Strategy, due in 2022, for which Community Rail Network is on the working group. Read our summary on elements of these documents likely to be most of relevance to community rail.

Days Out by Rail

We’re launching our Days Out by Rail campaign across England and Scotland on Monday 26 July, encouraging people to (re)discover Britain’s community railway lines and stations by providing inspiring ideas for days out. Over eight weeks we’ll be focusing on themes including purse-friendly days out, grand days out with the grandkids, off the beaten track, and doorstep discovery. We’re encouraging members to use the chance to celebrate the fantastic destinations on your lines. Contact Alice for information and materials.

Community Rail Week – 18-24 October

We’re excited to announce that 18-24 October will be our first annual Community Rail Week, sponsored by Rail Delivery Group. We’re encouraging all our members and partners to put the date in the diary and consider how you can get involved and make use of this great awareness-raising opportunity. With the run up to COP 26 focusing attentions on our climate and decarbonisation, this year we’ll be focussing on stimulating sustainable travel, under the banner Go Green by Rail.

We are planning a dual approach, including a PR campaign alongside local engagement, especially involving children, young people and families. Working with members we want to use the week to:

  • Raise awareness of the environmental and community benefits of travelling by rail;
  • Amplify the voices of young people to protect the environment and harness “pester power” for adults to make a step change;
  • Inform and inspire families and individuals to use rail combined with active travel and buses, helping to overcome barriers.

Over the coming months we’ll provide ideas, advice and resources to help you get involved and take advantage of the week to raise local awareness. We recognise that the nature of your involvement will vary, but hope that you might be able to use it as a chance to reinvigorate, restart or simply shout louder about your local engagement work. Sarah Chilton and her team will be leading the campaign, working with our support and development team to support member involvement, so chat to your usual contact to share ideas and watch out for further updates.

Best wishes,


(Richard is off sick – we wish him a speedy recovery and hope to have him back next time)

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