Community rail is a grassroots movement, made up of hundreds of community groups and partnerships that help communities to access and benefit from their local railways.
The mission of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) is to empower, support and champion the community rail movement. A big part of community rail is helping people who are vulnerable, marginalised, or face barriers to travel, to use local railways. ACoRP’s and its members’ work ranges from advising rail industry partners on station accessibility, to workshops on making rail journeys, to promoting low-cost tickets and discount cards. This can have lifechanging implications: broadening people’s horizons, helping them to be more active in society and bringing people together. For example, Community Rail Lancashire’s Railway Confidence Programme engages young people, including those with special educational needs and disabilities. They help four to 18 year-olds to become confident in all aspects of rail travel, and also provide young people with employment experiences to assist them in considering career options, including in the rail industry. By giving participants the opportunity to access rail, the team encourages the idea of all young people, including those with special educational needs and disabilities, using rail to access greater opportunities in life, helping to build a more inclusive society.