About Community Rail Network

Community Rail Network is the membership body for nearly 70 community rail partnerships and represents over 1000 station adoption groups. We support our members to be effective in benefiting their communities and railways, socially, environmentally and economically.

Community Rail Network provides support, advice and information to the community rail movement through membership services and events. We share good practice and connect those working in community rail, while bringing together insights from the wider voluntary sector, rail industry and beyond.

We represent and advocate for community rail, providing a link between our members and national and devolved governments, partners and industry, promoting
understanding of their contribution and how this can be nurtured. We also aim to raise awareness about community rail, explaining its importance, and promoting engagement with (and travel by!) community rail.

Community Rail Network’s mission is…

To empower, support and champion the community rail movement, helping community rail partnerships and groups to:

  • Enhance the railways’ contribution to social inclusion, sustainable development and health and wellbeing, including by maximising access to and use of the railways.
  • Ensure the community has a voice and plays a part in the development and improvement of our railways, so this meets community needs and aspirations and delivers maximum social value.
  • Communicate the development and importance of railways to local communities, enhancing understanding and pride, and promoting rail as a key part of sustainable, healthy travel.

All about community rail

Community rail is all about ensuring communities get the most from their railways. Working alongside local, regional and national partners, community rail partnerships and groups around the country aim to play an important role in social inclusion, community wellbeing and economic development, and promote rail as a key part of sustainable, healthy travel.

There are nearly 70 community rail partnerships around Britain, working along railway routes to connect communities with the railway, train operator and other partners. They deliver a range of activities to engage and benefit local people and support the development of the railway. You can see where Britain’s community railway lines are, region by region, and their main attractions, on our Scenic Rail Britain site.

More than 1,000 smaller community rail groups, such as station friends or adoption groups, or social enterprises, work locally, often involving volunteers in ensuring the station is a welcoming and productive hub for the community.