Community rail is grassroots movement working to engage communities in their local railway. Initiatives range from people helping to maintain station gardens to major refurbishment schemes.
Although some community railways provide a tourism service, they are largely separate from heritage and private railways which function solely as tourist attractions.
Community rail takes the form of community rail partnerships and station adoption groups.
Community rail partnerships
Community rail partnerships bring together local groups and partners from the rail industry with industrial groups to deliver a wide range of rail activities.
We believe all community rail partnership should be accredited.
The partnership usually represents a number of stations and services operating over a railway line. If you want to help an existing community rail partnership you should contact them directly.
Station adoption groups
A station adoption group is the generic term for volunteers who limit their involvement to railway stations. They work to improve and maintain their stations with train operators and Network Rail but will normally not be involved with the operation of the trains themselves.
Station adoption groups are not subject to the same accreditation process as community partnership.
The process for helping at your local station is run by our sponsored partner ACoRP.
Community rail development strategy
The development strategy sets out what we expect to see from community rail in England and Wales till 2028.
The strategy supports community rail organisations to be inclusive, independent and sustainable groups.