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Community rail

Community rail helps people get the most from their railways. We work with local authorities, the Community Rail Network and the rail industry to promote community rail.

Anyone can get involved, including: 

  • schools
  • colleges
  • local businesses
  • passengers
  • youth groups
  • gardening groups

Community rail projects help to: 

  • improve local train stations and bring them back to life
  • make stations a bigger part of the communities they serve
  • encourage community pride
  • promote inclusion, diversity and creativity
  • encourage sustainable travel

Community rail partnerships

Community rail partnerships (CRPs) are the backbone of the community rail movement. They bring together: 

  • stations in the area
  • rail industry partners, including train operators
  • local authorities
  • businesses
  • volunteers and community groups

Train operators and local authorities help promote local businesses and attractions along the rail network. Volunteers adopt stations to make them more attractive.

CRPs support the social, economic and tourism potential of rail travel. They help encourage more people to use the railways. 

CRPs also:

  • provide a voice for the local community
  • increase community involvement in the railways
  • promote rail as a sustainable form of transport
  • bring together a diverse range of people from the community

The Community Rail Network supports community groups and partnerships. It connects people involved in community rail projects across the country.

We are members of 2 CRPs: 

Station adoption

Anyone can become a friend of their local station through a station adoption scheme. You’ll get the chance to work with the train operator to improve it.

Individuals and groups can volunteer. You can get involved in lots of activities, including: 

  • creating community gardens
  • local art projects and workshops
  • raising awareness of rail travel
  • improving station access - for example, on walking and cycling paths

Station adoption has lots of benefits for local communities, including:

  • making stations welcoming and attractive
  • encouraging use of the railway
  • encouraging sustainable travel
  • reducing vandalism

Contact your local train operator if you’re interested in volunteering.

Community station partnerships

Community station partnerships benefit the rail industry and local neighbourhoods. They help to: 

  • improve the area’s environment
  • boost the local economy
  • support the wellbeing of neighbourhoods

The first community station partnership launched in 2021. The Friends of the Shakespeare Line have adopted every station along the line from Birmingham to Stratford upon Avon. Volunteer trustees manage this collective enterprise.

A second partnership has launched along the Chase line. There will be more partnerships in the future.