National recognition for Local Community Rail Projects

Felix the Seagull at the rail station
Felix the Seagull at the start of the trail at Felixstowe Station

Local projects undertaken by the region’s Community Rail Partnership have been tipped for several national awards including the East Suffolk Lines CRP.

The East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership, Visit Felixstowe and local shop, The Wool Baa, are shortlisted for the ‘Tourism and Leisure Award’ for the ‘Felix the Seagull and Friends’ yarn bomb trail around the town.

The initiative, which aimed to attract additional tourists by train, involved the knitting of several seagulls which were placed around Felixstowe, creating a trail from the rail station, through the town centre, ending at the VIsit Felixstowe Tourist Information Beach Hut. Clues attached to each seagull were used to create a fun competition.

In addition to the trail, the East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership held a two-week mini exhibition at the Beach Hut to greet folks following the seagull trail to promote things to see and do by train in East Suffolk.

At the end of the initiative seagulls were raffled off with £100 donated to the Memory Lane Dementia Support Group.

Projects by the Community Rail Partnerships in Norfolk, Essex and Hertfordshire were also shortlisted.

“Alan Neville, Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, said, “We are really proud of our community rail partnerships and amazing station adopters and are thrilled that the work that they do across the region to support communities, promote sustainable travel and help our region’s branch lines to thrive has been shortlisted for so many awards.”

The Community Rail Awards, now in its 18th year, recognises the important work carried out by an army, often of volunteers, who work across Britain’s rail network to make stations welcoming spaces for passengers and visitors alike. Alongside this, many of the groups carry out vital community engagement work with schools, colleges, and other local groups to help educate and secure passengers of the future, which is critical to ensuring railways are an inclusive, sustainable, healthy way to travel.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Manchester on 5 October 2022.