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Community Rail News – 22 Feb 2023

Hello everyone. Welcome to the latest edition of Community Rail News. We hope you are all well.

Engaging with the transition to Great British Railways

Following the Secretary of State for Transport’s announcements on moving forward with rail transformation and Great British Railways, we wanted to provide a quick update on our engagement with the Great British Railways Transition Team. We’re now in close contact with colleagues in both the GBRTT Passenger & Freight Services team, and Customer Experience team (covering stations), and have been discussing the range of rail transformation topics where community rail has useful insights to share and value to add. This includes referring back to our response to GBRTT’s call for evidence on the ‘Long Term Strategy for Rail’ (previously called the Whole Industry Strategic Plan). We hope that a representative from each team will be presenting at our Community Rail Conference run with DfT in March, and will continue to update you via our bulletins.  

Climate Resilient Gardening webinar

Having received feedback from station adopters that growing is getting harder with our changing climate, we have invited the horticultural charity Garden Organic to run an online session for our members. This will explore how to make your space more drought tolerant by following sustainable organic principles, with advice on how to save and manage water, select plants suited to dryer conditions, and build and maintain healthy soil. The webinar is on Wednesday 29 March, 6.30-8.30pm, online via Zoom, for Community Rail Network members only. Book your place here.

I Came by Train conference

Yesterday, Jools spoke at Trainline’s conference at which they launched a White Paper exploring how the rail and tech sectors can support and encourage people to use rail and travel more sustainably. Jools took part in a panel discussion on overcoming obstacles to sustainable travel, including highlighting community rail’s work on modal shift. We’ll share the link to the White Paper, including a foreword from Jools, on our social media, once it has been released online later this week.

Changes at Community Rail Network

We have some more news about changes to our senior management team. Sarah Chilton is going to be moving on from the team in early April. We will obviously be sad to see her go after two years building up our comms and policy activity, but we wish her all the very best. We have already gone out to advert for the post.

Communication drop-ins

Our drop-in sessions for members on communications and PR continue to take place on the first Thursday of the month (next on 2 March), 4-6pm on Zoom, run by Sarah C and Alice. There’s no need to book – just drop in using this link anytime within the slot.

Community Rail Week

We are finalising our briefing on our 2023 theme for Community Rail Week (22-28 May) and will share details in the next Community Rail News. If you would like to chat with any of the Comms & Policy team about your plans, please call in to their drop-in session or contact Alice on

Community Rail Conference

All complimentary places for this year’s Community Rail Conference (27-28 March) are now taken, and the event is almost at full (record-breaking!) capacity. We are operating a waiting list, so anybody not yet booked on needs to email to record their interest.

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

Your next bulletin is on 8 March. Keep up-to-date in between on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Best wishes,
Jeremy and Jools