Monday 23 to Sunday 29 May 2022

Community Rail Week, sponsored by Rail Delivery Group, returns from 23 to 29 May and will be centred on increasing confidence and encouraging people to travel by train with the simple call to action, ‘Give the Train a Try’.

Community rail partnerships and station volunteer groups have long played a key role in increasing confidence around rail travel within local communities and further afield. We aim to draw on this wealth of experience and amplify community rail messages to help the national drive to get more people using the train. As Britain emerges fully from Covid-19, we have a unique opportunity to highlight the benefits of taking the train to a number of different audiences.

We encourage everyone involved in community rail to participate in the campaign and use it as a springboard and focal point to deliver and promote activities locally. There are lots of ways to get involved, whether it’s running a special one-off event, promoting your existing work and successes, reaching out to wider audiences or promoting our campaign messages on social media and locally. Read our guidance for suggestions of how you can do this.

Objectives of the week

  • Inform and inspire people to ‘Give the Train a Try’ by highlighting the benefits of travelling by train for leisure, tourism or day-to-day and how it can enhance the health and well-being of communities
  • Raise awareness of community rail outside of the rail sector, showcasing the diverse work that members deliver, to new audiences
  • Amplify and elevate members’ voices, providing them with the tools to reach wider audiences with their messages and promotions
  • Empower young people, families and diverse groups to become ambassadors for green, healthy travel, encouraging others in their lives to give the train a try, together

Activities and events

In order to attract media attention for the campaign at a region and potential national level, Community Rail Network will host three core events during the week:

  • Launch event – Monday 23 May, with Community Rail Lancashire and Action Stations
  • Community Rail Showcase (previously known as Community Rail in the City) – Wednesday 25 May
  • Community Rail Young People’s focus- Thursday 26 May

This year, community rail partnerships and station volunteer groups are delivering over 70 events and activites throughoutCommunity Rail Week. See the full list of activities planned below.

Download list of member events and activities for Community Rail Week 2022 here…

Community rail partnerships and station volunteer groups are encouraged to develop their own activity for the week and deliver local PR and communications, drawing on our tools as needed, around the ‘Give the Train a Try’ theme. We’ve provided suggestions in our guidance document on what could be delivered and you can see highlights from last year’s event at the bottom of this page. Members can also participate in the Community Rail Showcase, coordinated by Community Rail Network.

For more information on how you can get involved, read our guidance here, join our Zoom drop-in sessions every Thursday at 4pm until 6pm starting 17 March, or get in touch with your regular Community Rail Network contact.

Community Rail Week 2021 highlights

A huge thank you to everyone who got on board and promoted the work of community rail and the message Go Green By Train and special thanks to Rail Delivery Group, who sponsored the week. We could not have hoped for a better response from members, partners and the public – invariably everyone we chatted to was interested and engaged with the vitally important topic of sustainable travel, and how community-level activities can make a positive difference. It was especially great to see so many young people and children involved, and making their voices heard, and there’s lots of opportunity for us to build on this further.

Community Rail Week 2021 in numbers

Whilst the numbers are important, it’s clear to see Community Rail Week was so much more than that. The week kicked off with the national launch of the results of our Youth Survey which explored the travel habits and attitudes to green travel among 1000 16–24-year-olds. The results below made for interesting reading:

  • Seven in ten (70%) young people are keen to see more people using trains in the future, with the vast majority (90%) saying the environment and climate emergency is an important issue to them;
  • Around half (48%) travel by train at least once a month, but one in six (17%) have rarely or never been on a train, or can’t remember when they last did;
  • While 94% have a station near enough for them to use, most (67%) admit there are factors getting in the way of them using trains, including practicalities with walking, cycling, or getting a bus to the station, being worried about cost, or driving or getting lifts being more convenient.

Member activity

Community rail partnerships and groups, supported by their partners, hosted a diverse mix of exciting activities to celebrate our first Community Rail Week, along the theme of Go Green by Train. See what some of our members got up to below or click here to see the full list of activity.

The week’s activities began at Manchester Piccadilly Station with students from Bury College, Jools Townsend – Community Rail Network’s chief executive, Martin Tugwell – Transport for the North chief executive and Tricia Williams – chief operating officer at Northern. Tricia said of the week “We’re proud to support, and work with, such active community groups across the North and thank them for their efforts which, together with our own, create a significant positive impact for the region. The work of the community groups goes hand-in-hand with our own improvements and together provide the best possible sustainable travel environment for rail users in the North.”

Network Rail hosted a community rail open day on the concourse of Manchester Piccadilly, involving a number of community rail partnerships and station groups from the north, promoting the wonderful work of community rail to passengers.

Mytholmroyd Station Group unveiled local artwork at the station, depicting the railways through the ages, designed by students from Scout Academy who joined proceedings on a very wet day.

Heart of England CRP held a pledge morning at Coventry Station with a host of local dignitaries and partners taking the pledge to Go Green By Train. The public were also keen to take their own pledge, with many stopping to have their photo taken with the giant pledge cards and embracing the green message.

Throughout the week, Bristol Temple Meads was home to specially designed display boards, showcasing the work of Severnside CRP and the community rail movement to passengers. The partnership also attended a youth group to get the views of young people first-hand. After speaking to around 20 young people, the CRP discovered none of them travel by train on a regular basis and 40% had never been on a train. As a result, Severnside CRP are keen to continue working with young people within the community to change these figures.

East Suffolk Lines CRP together with Greater Anglia, hosted a Sustainable Future Forum at Beccles Station with students from Suffolk One and Suffolk New College.

There was lots of sunshine and happiness at Newton Station when Rail 74 hosted a Green Love event with students from St Charles School. The students carried out random acts of kindness by giving out seed bombs and cookies as well as planting lots of spring bulbs.

Volunteers from stations along the South Fylde Line were busy handing out bags filled with green goodies including bulbs and plant cuttings. The bags themselves had been hand-decorated by local school children with the Go Green By Train message. The partnership also used the week to unveil two new additions to St Anne’s Station; a pair of wooden sculpted owls and a fascinating history poster.

Penistone Line Partnership spent a day at Sheffield Station highlighting their work, encouraging green travel and promoting places to visit within easy access of the line.

North Notts & Lincs CRP launched a range of walking guides at Worksop Station, containing linear walking routes where you can connect with bus or rail for your return trip. These guides were produced in partnership with Stagecoach to encourage more active travel in the area.

In Scotland, 6VT Community Rail Partnership – the UK’s only youth community rail partnership – worked with local students and travelled from Edinburgh Waverley to Glasgow Central to highlight the importance of taking the train as a greener travel method, to a younger audience.

Esk Valley Railway Development Company headed to Middlesbrough and Whitby Stations during the week, to promote their newly launched website and highlight the Go Green By Train message.

One of community rail’s newest partnerships, Reading to Basingstoke CRP, hosted an engagement event at Reading Station, encouraging members of the public to make small pledges to go greener.

During the week, members of the Community Rail Education Network met in Newcastle to discuss how green travel can be built into their work in the future.

Community Rail Lancashire had a busy week of activities that started with the launch of their Make a Bee Line for the West Lancashire Line booklet before heading off on a try the train trip and walk with local school children.

Social media was full of fascinating community rail stories and activities, with many community rail partnerships and station groups showcasing their work. Take a look at our #CommunityRailWeek and #GoGreenByTrain hashtags on Twitter to find out more.

This is only a small selection of the activity that took place during Community Rail Week – take a look at the full list here.

Remember, you can continue to use the infographics from our promotional toolkit and the #GoGreenByTrain hashtag in your promotions. Download it here

Press release

Download our national press release below.