The 2008 Community Rail Awards were held in Plymouth 19 to 21 September and the East Suffolk Lines once again came away a winner.
This year Woodbridge railway station came in second in the category Most Enhanced Community Station. Anyone who travels through, or to and from Woodbridge station will have noticed all the improvements made in the past year.The car park was expanded and resurfaced, new kerbs installed, a new bus shelter constructed on the station forecourt making for easy transfers for onward journeys, along with improved cycle parking.
The scheme saw many groups come together to make the project a reality, including train operator National Express East Anglia, Network Rail, Suffolk County Council, and Anglia in Bloom.
Another second place award went to the East Suffolk Line Walks guide for the category Best Marketing Publication; the booklet, put together by John Brodribb of the East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership, details more than a dozen walks between East Suffolk Line stations. The free guide has been a hit with ramblers and a new expanded edition is being published which will include station-to-station walks along the Felixstowe line.
In addition to the awards won by the East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership (CRP) train operator National Express East Anglia saw other parts of its network rewarded this year. Wymondham station in Norfolk on the Breckland Line received a first place award for best station/retail train outlet, and National Express East Anglia came in second for the category ‘Station Matters’ for its rural staffing scheme at stations in north Norfolk.
The Community Rail Awards are sponsored by the Association of Community Rail Partnerships and are held each year. Entries come from all over the country, and showcase some of the best projects put forth by volunteers who help promote their local rail lines.