South Western Railway scoops two community rail awards

Friday 13th October 2017
The annual Community Rail Awards, which is organised by the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP), took place in Derby on Thursday 5 October, with South Western Railway scooping two prestigious awards.

Purbeck Community Rail Partnership saw off strong nationwide competition for their work in bringing together partners such as Swanage Railway, Dorset County Council, Purbeck District Council and the train operator, and engaging communities along the Swanage to Wareham Line. Services were brought back again to the Line after an absence of 45 years and the group’s innovative partnership work was highly commended.

Alongside the award for innovation, a photograph taken at the launch of the first train from Swanage to Wareham won the Community Rail Awards photo competition. The photograph ‘We would like to apologise that the next train to Wareham is 45 years late’ was taken by South Western Railway employee, Phil Dominey.

Richard Kempton, Community Rail Manager for South Western Railway, said: “We were delighted to hear that one of our local partnerships was recognised for contributions to community rail. Community rail partnerships and station friends groups play a crucial, often unsung, role and I would like to thank them for their hard work on behalf of everyone at South Western Railway.”

Phil Dominey, Stakeholder Manager for South Western Railway, said: “The opening of the Swanage to Wareham Line was an historic moment and has been a long time coming so we were really pleased to find out that the Purbeck Community Rail Partnership was recognised in this way. The fact that my photo featuring the Swanage to Wareham Line won the competition was the icing on the cake!”

Jools Townsend, Chief Executive of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships, said: “We were thrilled to recognise such an impressive range of work to engage communities in their railways at the 13th Community Rail Awards.

“These Awards recognise the important work by community rail partnerships, station friends and other groups across Britain. They shine a light on the wonderful activities happening across this growing and increasingly influential grassroots movement – and they help us to share good practice and spread the word about community rail’s contribution to mobility, sustainability, prosperity and wellbeing.

“Our winning entries are humbling for the passion, creativity, collaboration and determination they demonstrate. They show just how important community rail has become, in enhancing our railways and stations for the sake of passengers and local people, and making sure communities get the most from these vital assets.

“Congratulations to all our winners and everyone working within community rail.”