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Rail industry unites for campaign encouraging people to get back on board

Community rail partnerships and station groups are being encouraged to get involved with a national campaign to entice commuters, business and leisure travellers back to the railway.

The ‘Nothing Beats Being There’ campaign has been launched by the Rail Delivery Group, train operators, Network Rail and the Great British Railways Transition Team.

The campaign uses a number of scenarios to showcase how rail connects passengers to the people, places and things they love, which in turn supports local communities, boosts economic activity and drives a green recovery.

While the popularity in leisure travel has seen revenue rise to 125% of pre-pandemic levels, the latest industry figures show that overall revenue is still at around 78% of 2019 levels, with commuting and business travel at considerably less than in 2019.

The campaign aims to encourage people to take the train to experience something in person – whether that is to attend a meeting, have a business lunch or visit some friends – it serves as a reminder that there is no better way to get those real-life experiences than by rail. Using a mixture of shared social media footage and film, the campaign seeks to boost demand from the leisure, commuter and business markets.

Community rail partnerships and station groups can get involved by using the #NothingBeatsBeingThere hashtag on social media to help inspire and support people on their next train trip. For more advice on how you can support this national message and promote rail travel along your community rail lines, please get in touch with Community Rail Network’s Comms & Policy team or download some of our tourism or marketing guidance.

Jacqueline Starr, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said: “Rail is fundamental to helping connect passengers to the people, places and things they love, supporting local communities, boosting economic activity and driving a green recovery. Nothing Beats Being There is a rallying call to customers to experience the power and joy of being there in person in a world where our lives have become more and more digital and screen-based.

“It has been over a year since the latest restrictions were lifted, revenue for commuting and business travellers has still not returned to pre-pandemic levels. So we want to use this campaign to encourage everyone back to rail, so they can experience what rail has to offer, and to help put industry finances on the best possible footing and secure rail’s long-term future.”

The advert was shot by the award-winning photographer, Sophie Ebrard after spending over five days travelling by train, and follows the Let’s Get Back On Track campaign from 2021 which saw more than half the people respond stating that the campaign made them feel more confident to travel again.

See below for a preview of the national TV ad.