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Families encouraged to take greener days out as campaign to explore Britain’s hidden gems by train launches

A national awareness campaign, uniting communities across Britain to showcase the delights and benefits of ‘Days Out by Rail’, has launched this week. The three-week initiative is raising awareness about rail as one of the greenest ways to travel with the family – especially when combined with walking, cycling and buses – avoiding traffic jams, parking and pollution, while enabling exploration of lesser-known spots as part of a day out, short break or staycation.

Days Out by Rail, developed by Community Rail Network, draws on local insights and ideas from community rail, a grassroots movement spanning Britain, which involves communities and volunteers with their local railways and stations. The campaign is being delivered through Community Rail Network’s tourism initiative,, and aims to provide inspiration for families looking for days out during the October half term and throughout autumn.

The campaign will include tips on how to have a low-cost railway-themed day out, ideas for things to do with the grandkids as well as highlighting some of Britain’s fascinating hidden gems off the beaten track, all accessible by train. And it’s not all about the destination, whether families decide to play travel games, enjoy a packed lunch or play I-spy from the window, taking the train can be so much more than just a journey.

Most of the lines featured in the campaign are supported by community rail partnerships and station volunteer groups working at grassroots level to engage local communities and promote rail as a key part of sustainable, healthy travel. The movement works to improve rail connections, advising railway partners on local needs to help more people be able to access rail. Community Rail Network, the non-profit organisation that operates Scenic Rail Britain, supports, connects and champions those working and volunteering in community rail across Britain.

Jools Townsend, chief executive of Community Rail Network, said:

“Many people don’t realise the scope for seeing Britain’s stunning landscapes, pretty villages and historic sites by rail – and making use of our wonderful, often little-known, community rail lines and stations is a great way to do this.

We’re excited to launch our Days Out By Rail campaign with help from community rail partnerships and station volunteers across the country. This campaign is all about drawing on the local knowledge and insights from the community rail movement, and sharing that with families, day-trippers and holidaymakers. We hope to inspire more people to explore our beautiful countryside and fascinating heritage through green and scenic journeys by rail, avoiding the stress and pollution of driving and parking.”