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Updates on community rail in Scotland

Caroline Thompson-Noble, sustainable transport engagement coordinator, gives an update on activity across Scotland.

Rail 74 CRP are working with the Samaritans to mark World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September. Rail 74 will be supporting an on-train Conversation Café from Glasgow Central to Hamilton, alongside the Samaritans and Railway Mission.

Bringing a sense of inclusion, belonging, pride and hope to the areas served by their stations is central to the ethos of Rail 74. Conversation Cafés, along with art and design workshops, have long been a feature of their Hope in Hamilton project. The legacy of this – a unique, interactive art installation providing much needed signposting to mental health support, will be sited at Hamilton Central Station in the next few weeks. It comes at a time when the Samaritans are reporting a record number of calls from people worried about their finances and will serve to reinforce the partnership working already taking place between the rail industry and the Samaritans.

Rail 74 are also currently preparing to take part in a mini COP26 in Hamilton, which will provide a great opportunity to engage with schools on sustainable transport and community rail.

Borders Railway CRP are involved in the Gala Day to mark the official opening of the Great Tapestry of Scotland visitor centre in Galashiels on Friday 9 September. Attendees will be given the opportunity to stitch a panel to the new welcome tapestry for the Galashiels Transport Interchange, commissioned by the CRP and designed by tapestry artist Andrew Crummy.

As Stakeholders to the Auchterarder and Aburuthven Local Action Plan, Strathallan CRP have been active in integrating different transport modes across their region and are now working on a project to link Gleneagles Station with local bus services in Auchterarder. They have also been engaging with local community and rail partners in order to bring the station rooms at Gleneagles back into community use.

East Lothian CRP continue to work on a Line Guide, improving passenger facilities at North Berwick Station (which has seen an influx of visitors during the Fringe By The Sea festival) and look forward to the unveiling of the restored murals at Prestonpans Station, as well as a new mural paying tribute to Rupert the station cat, who gained celebrity status in and around neighbouring Bankton Station before his death last year.

Highland Mainline CRP are currently looking for new volunteers, particularly anyone interested in setting up a local group. Get in touch via their website.

And, finally, Friends of Weymss Bay Station are delighted to share that Weymss Bay Station has recently featured in a list of the 37 most beautiful stations in the world! You can check out the article here.