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Engaging the community

Involving local people to create a welcoming railway

Robert Owen Communities help to brighten Torre station

We are proud to be a Community Rail Partnership – working with rail volunteers, schools, universities, local businesses and partner organisations to help people to improve and promote their railway and feel a real sense of ownership.
We do this through:

Friends of the Station groups

We support volunteer groups that transform local stations, work towards improvements to services, and promote the railway in their local area.

Line forums

We run regular line forum meetings on seven of the branch lines, where the railway, local councils, rail users’ groups and many others come together to discuss issues and plan projects.

School trips

More than a thousand children have benefited from our free taster trips since 2012, thanks to the generous support of Great Western Railway (GWR). As well as encouraging pupils to become ‘rail ambassadors’ and get their families to try the train, we also involve them in creative projects such as our Minibeast Trail.


We help students to give something back to the community through volunteer gardening projects at stations and collaborations like our Time Travelling Train project and our student masterclasses that generate new ideas for the rail industry.

Local businesses

We team up with restaurants, pubs, surf shops, accommodation providers and other local businesses on a range of promotions that benefit all involved.


We work with local organisations ranging from tourist information centres to charities such as Robert Owen Communities (ROC), who have helped adults with learning disabilities to improve stations through their award-winning gardening efforts.

Projects like these help us to inspire more people to take the train and create attractive station environments that provide a great first impression of our villages, towns and cities.

Featured projects

Want to get involved?

We help people who want to get involved with the railway to do what they want to do. We can help make connections with the right person in the rail industry, provide help and advice, and sometimes source funding too. If you’d like to get involved or have a project idea you’d like to discuss, contact us for a chat.