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July 2021

Local community group joins national campaign to highlight hidden gems along Britain’s rail network

In a move to get local residents back on track, the Heart of England Community Rail Partnership is getting involved in a national awareness campaign, launching today (26 July) to promote the delights and benefits of ‘Days Out by Rail’, coordinated by Community Rail Network.

Days Out by Rail aims to inspire and encourage day-tripper and leisure travellers to jump aboard a train, for exciting, fun, eco-friendly outings. The campaign draws on local insights and ideas from community rail, a grassroots movement spanning Britain, which involves communities and volunteers with their local railways and stations. The eight-week initiative is raising awareness about rail as one of the greenest ways to travel – especially combined with walking, cycling and buses – avoiding traffic jams, parking and pollution, while enabling exploration of lesser-known spots as part of a day out, short break or staycation.

The Heart of England CRP has been working with Shakespeare’s England to showcase places to visit and things to do along the railways in Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull through social media as part of the campaign.

Community Rail Network is the national umbrella body for 74 community rail partnerships and 1,000 station friends groups working locally to help communities get the most from their railways and benefit from sustainable travel. Their Scenic Rail Britain site is the go-to reference and planning tool to discover scenic and historic rail journeys in England, Scotland and Wales. It shows how day-trippers and holidaymakers can uncover hidden gems across coastal, country and city destinations using the vast network of Britain’s community rail lines. 

The Heart of England CRP works at a grassroots level to engage and benefit local people and promote rail as a key part of sustainable, healthy travel. Covering 36 stations across Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull, the Heart of England CRP works on projects around education and rail safety, improving station environments through supporting station adopters and art at the station, and providing opportunities for local communities to work in partnership with the Train Operating Companies.

Days Out by Rail will focus on eight themes, inspiring and encouraging leisure travellers to: explore off the beaten track; marvel at spectacular views; enjoy purse-friendly days out; reconnect with family; discover what’s on their doorstep; plan days out with friends; explore scenic walking & cycling routes and enjoy time out just for grown-ups, by train.

Jools Townsend, chief executive of Community Rail Network, said: 

Many people don’t realise the scope for seeing Britain’s stunning landscapes, pretty villages and historic sites by rail – and making use of our wonderful, often little-known, community rail lines and stations is a great way to do this.

We are excited to launch our Days Out by Rail campaign with help from community rail partnerships and station volunteers across the country. This campaign is all about drawing on the local knowledge and insights from the community rail movement, and sharing that with families, day-trippers and holidaymakers. We hope to inspire more people to explore our beautiful countryside and fascinating heritage through green and scenic journeys by rail, avoiding the stress and pollution of driving and parking.”

Julia Singleton-Tasker, Officer for the Heart of England Community Rail Partnership, said:

“We live in a beautiful area with so many things to see and do and that are accessible from local train stations. We want to encourage people to leave their cars at home and explore what Warwickshire and Coventry have to offer by the railways.”

For images, interviews and further information, contact Julia Singleton-Tasker, Heart of England CRP at juliasingletontasker@warwickshire.gov.uk or on 07827 954 022 or Sheila Manzano, Three Little Birds PR on 07938 200285.

Days out by rail promotional image