Community Rail

What is Community Rail?

Community Rail is a growing movement made up of community rail partnerships, station adoption groups and an army of volunteers from across Britain. These groups connect their communities with the railway and play a key role in delivering projects which promote inclusion, diversity, creativity, sustainable travel, as well making improvements and bringing stations back to life.

Video: What is the 'Adopt a Station' scheme?

Anyone can get involved in community rail including schools, colleges, local businesses, rail passengers, youth groups and gardening groups. Volunteers can give as much time as they can manage and the wide variety of activities mean that there is something for everyone to enjoy. Our ‘Adopt a Station’ scheme enables individuals or groups to adopt their own local railway station, to plant, paint, create and improve. Where great friendships can be made with station staff, other volunteers and members of the wider community.

Community Rail

As a company we are committed to getting closer to the communities we serve as this will result in us building a better railway. We are aware that we are merely custodians of much-cherished national community assets and we want to work with local people to use stations and train services to reflect and enhance community pride and prosperity.

If you are interested in ‘adopting’ your local station and would like some more information, please email: [email protected]

Community Rail

We work with three Community Rail Partnerships on our network:

Marston Vale CRP

The Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership look after the route between Bedford and Bletchley. The group work incredibly hard to encourage local people, groups, organisations and businesses to become more involved in improving “the passenger experience” at stations and on trains.

Abbey Line CRP

Established in June 2005, the Abbey Line CRP looks after the 6.5 mile local line which runs between Watford Junction and St Albans Abbey. They work with partner organisations to increase patronage of the line, promote sustainable travel, enhance station environments and give local communities the opportunity to become more involved in their local railway line.

North Staffordshire CRP

Located on the Crewe-Stoke-Derby route, known as the North Staffordshire Line, this active CRP’s aims are around developing station improvement projects to improve the travel experience, encouraging and facilitating station ‘adoption’, promoting the North Staffordshire Line for travel to work, to education and for leisure.

Types of Station Adoption

Level One

Comprises station adoption on an informal basis by groups associated with the area who wish to undertake a variety of tasks at the station but do not wish to organise a formal group. We welcome this activity and support with Health and Safety Briefings and resources.

Level Two

Comprises station adoption by a formally constituted group with a Bank Account. The community Group apply for funding to various sources, undertake volunteer tasks at the station and attend our Community Rail Events. Works at their adopted station includes the list below plus wide-ranging activities as developed by the communities involved:

  • Gardening and Landscaping
  • Art Installations
  • Events
  • Pop-ups

Further reading

The Community Rail Network provides support and advice to the community rail movement through their membership. They share good practice and connect community rail partnerships and groups together, while working with government, the rail industry, and the wider voluntary and community sector to champion community rail.

For more information on the Community Rail Network please click here .

Community Rail Reports

December 2018 Report

July 2019 Report

June 2020 Report

Annual 2022 Report

Community Rail Strategy 2022/2023