Community rail heroes celebrated at ACoRP awards event

Community rail heroes celebrated at ACoRP awards event

4 Oct, 2019
All the winners celebrate at the annual Community Rail Awards in Telford.

A humbling range of innovative ‘community rail’ projects and schemes were recognised at the 15th national Community Rail Awards, attended by  450 community rail volunteers, partnerships, rail industry leaders and government representatives.

The Awards were this year hosted by West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway at a gala dinner in Telford, on 3 October. The event continues to grow in size – this year with 210 entries – in line with the spread of community rail activities across much of Britain’s railways and stations.

West Yorkshire’s Mytholmroyd Station Partnership beat off strong nationwide competition to scoop the top award, Outstanding Contribution to Community Rail, on the showcase night for the community rail movement, with their programme of projects putting the station and railway back into the heart of their community. Their work this year included:

  • Developing a business case and leading on the renovation of their listed, previously disused station building, with the aim of it being returned to community use;
  • Developing strong links throughout their local community, involving volunteers in a range of gardening, planting and heritage activities;
  • Projects with local schools and youth groups at the station, to create a sense of pride and community, and raise awareness about environment.

Peter Roberts MBE was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to community rail, having championed community rail and served as chair of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships for 15 years.

View all the night’s winners here

Download the 2019 winners brochure

The night’s category winners:

Involving Children and Young People sponsored by Merseyrail

Community Rail Lancashire for Stand Clear of the Closet Doors


Involving Diverse Groups sponsored by Great Western Railway

Cumbrian Coast Line CRP for Broken Lives Mended


Community Art Schemes – Permanent sponsored by Abellio

Friends of Rosehill Station for Intergenerational Community Art Project


Community Art Schemes – Renewable & Smaller sponsored by Transport for Greater Manchester

Penistone Line Partnership for Dwell Time


Most Enhanced Station Buildings and Surroundings sponsored by Northern

Poacher Line CRP & The Bee Friendly Trust for Bottesford Friendly Garden


Small Projects Award – Under £500 sponsored by Community Rail Lancashire

Community Rail Lancashire for Bringing Sunshine to Morecambe


Best Community Engagement Event sponsored by Rock Rail

Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership for CreativiTea Trains


Best Marketing or Communications Campaign sponsored by Govia

Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership for Looe Valley Line Heritage Project


Tourism & Heritage sponsored by Transport for Wales

Heart of Wales Line Development Company for Heart of Wales Line Trail


Influencing Positive Change sponsored by TransPennine Express

Leeds – Morecambe CRP, Northern and Partners for Dementia and Community Rail


Photo & Video Competition | “Community Rail in Action” sponsored by Porterbrook

Friends of Goostrey Station for Enjoying a break during working party


It’s Your Station sponsored by West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway

Lead Bronze – Driffield in Bloom

Lead Silver – Action Stations Bingley

Lead Gold – Market Rasen Station Adoption Group

Lead  Platinum – Friends of Hindley Station


Outstanding Volunteer Contribution sponsored by South Western Railway

Julie Gibbon of Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership


ACoRP Award for Outstanding Contribution to Community Rail

Mytholmroyd Station Partnership


ACoRP Lifetime Achievement Award

Peter Roberts MBE

 The Awards were hosted by ACoRP chief executive Jools Townsend and managing director of West Midlands Trains, Jan Chaudhry van der Velde.

Jools Townsend, chief executive of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships, said: “The Community Rail Awards give important, deserved recognition to the achievements and hard work of community rail volunteers and partnerships across Britain – and we are thrilled the event, alongside the community rail movement as a whole, continues to grow. A theme across this year’s winners was a commitment to creating inclusive, cohesive communities, and helping people to access the opportunities they want, through sustainable travel. Our winners ranged from a programme promoting confidence in rail travel among the LGBT+ community, to Britain’s first dementia-friendly railway, to a station partnership engaging local people in community gardening and environmental projects. We will be sharing these inspiring examples throughout the year to come, to help the community rail movement to continue to develop, and impact positively on more and more people’s lives.”

Chris Heaton-Harris, Rail Minister, said: “Congratulations to all the winners of the Community Rail Awards. Their enthusiasm, hard work and dedication sees local people taking a leading role in delivering improvements for passengers, epitomising how our railways can build links between communities. This Government is committed to creating a cleaner, greener network and enhancing the overall passenger experience. The support we receive at a local level is invaluable, ensuring government investment is backed by community contributions, delivering improvements exactly where they are needed most.”

Jan Chaudhry van der Velde, managing director of West Midlands Trains, said: The hard work and dedication shown by thousands of volunteers up and down the country, evidenced in these awards, is truly inspirational. It has been an honour for our two business units, West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway, to host this year’s ceremony. We are committed to amplifying the widespread benefits community rail can bring and putting stations right at the heart of our communities. More than 40 stations across our network have been formally adopted in the past year and we have added a new Community Rail Partnership right in the heart of the West Midlands. In addition, the launch of our £1.7m Customer and Communities Improvement Fund will allow us to add financial support to dozens of incredible projects in our area.”

Download the 2019 Winners Brochure

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