Area Community Rail Partnerships Celebrate Community Rail Week

Community Rail Week at London Liverpool Street station. Photo by Greater Anglia

The East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership joined Greater Anglia’s other Community Rail Partnerships (CRPs) for Community Rail Week 2024 last week to showcase the innovative projects and inspiring initiatives they’ve been involved with over the past year.

The national event takes place every year with CRPs across the country taking part. This year Community Rail Week was held held 20 by 26 May and the theme was ‘More Than A Railway’.

The idea behind the theme was to highlight the inspiring work that goes on in community rail that brings people together and creates more inclusive communities, as well as the wider socio-economic benefit that the railways deliver. Day trippers to East Anglia were encouraged to leave the car at home and use the train for their journeys.

The highlight of Community Rail Week took place on Thursday 23 May, at London Liverpool Street station, when most of the region’s CRPs – the East Suffolk Lines, Essex & South Suffolk, Bittern Line, Wherry Lines, and New River Line Community Rail Partnerships – joined forces for a vibrant promotional display, showcasing Greater Anglia’s scenic rail lines in East Anglia for green leisure trips.

By setting up their stall at the major London terminus, they were able to promote the great work they do and the enjoyable days out by train that are possible across East Anglia, to the thousands of people who pass through the station.

In addition to the event at Liverpool Street station, the East Suffolk Lines CRP also featured several Community Rail Week events including a station-to-station walk with the Suffolk Walking Festival from Trimley to Felixstowe via the Deben. A special rail fare and on-train event encouraged rail travel to the Beccles Food and Drink festival as part of its initiative to promote tourism, and the station adopters from Westerfield, Derby Road and Ipswich held a Buzzing Bee fun day to raise money for the Bees for Development fund; the adopters at these stations have each created station gardens and green spaces to support biodiversity along the railway, providing sources of food for bees and insects.

Alan Neville, Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, said:

“It is so easy to get to the stunning cities, towns, and coastlines in East Anglia by train – and it helps the planet too, by reducing CO2 emissions by as much as 70% compared to the car.

“We have a range of great value fares available to make a trip by rail the best choice for a great day out in the region and we are grateful to our community rail partnerships for helping to raise awareness with this event.”

Community Rail Week, organised by Community Rail Network and sponsored by the Rail Delivery Group, shines a light on the year-round work of Britain’s 76 community rail partnerships, 140 station groups and 10,000 volunteers who are involved in community rail activities across the country.

Community rail aims to improve travel confidence, increase access to opportunity, tackle social isolation, give communities a voice, and put railways and stations at the heart of community life, while supporting a shift to sustainable, more social forms of travel, including rail.