Community Rail is all about connection, integrating stations into the local community and ensuring we support the communities we serve.
We support the four pillars of Community Rail which the Department for Transport have set out in their Community Rail Development Strategy:
- Providing a voice for the community,
- Promoting sustainable healthy and accessible travel
- Bringing communities together and supporting diversity and inclusion
- Supporting social and economic development
Community Rail Partnerships are integral to the community rail movement, bringing together rail operators, local groups and partners along the railway lines to deliver a variety of community engagement initiatives and events. Community Rail Partnerships help to promote understanding of the importance of local railways, in terms of improving mobility and sustainable travel, community cohesion and wellbeing, and social and economic development.
We are proud to have supported the launch of the first Community Rail Partnership in the West Midlands, Heart of England Community Rail Partnership. We work closely with the CRP on a range of exciting projects including the roll out of ‘welcome back packs’ for station volunteers, the launch of a new virtual school safety education programme, and a sustainable travel pledge day event for community rail week 2021.
To read more about Heart of England Community Rail Partnership, visit their website.
Station volunteers, known as Friends of the Station, are at the heart of our Community Rail programme at Chiltern Railways. We are lucky to work with many dedicated community volunteers who are passionate about bringing the community to the railway, and improving the station environment for customers. Over the years our Friends groups have worked to implement or advocate for new station gardens, wildlife friendly planters, heritage style waiting room refurbishments, station book swaps and much more. Friends of the station can also be extra eyes and ears at our stations, helping to identify issues and opportunities to keep stations safe and welcoming.
We have established Friends groups at the following stations:
- Leamington Spa
- Bicester North
If you would like to find out more about how you can adopt a Chiltern Railways station, contact us on [email protected]