News from East Midlands Trains

11.11.2008

Community Rail - new life for local train lines

The train service on the North Staffordshire Line, between Crewe and Derby train stations, has been designated as a Community Rail Service, Minister of State for Transport Andrew Adonis announced today.

The designated service allows for a more flexible approach to be adopted by the train operating company (East Midlands Trains) working alongside the local community rail partnership. This enables them to manage the service with greater emphasis on meeting local needs. Together they will continue to look for ways to increase patronage and improve the service.

Lord Adonis, Minister of State for Transport, said, "I am delighted to make this announcement. Designation of the North Staffordshire Line service as a Community Rail Service is good news. It means that local communities can become even more involved in how these services run and ultimately encourage more passengers to use them.”

Commenting, Tim Shoveller, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains, said, "As a company committed to the development of community rail, we fully support this designation. We look forward to working with our colleagues on the North Staffordshire Line to bring further improvements along the line, and to encourage more people to travel by train".

Michael Willmot, Chairman of the North Staffordshire Line Community Rail Partnership, said, "I believe community service designation will bring further recognition of the work of the North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership, which has already been instrumental in attracting over £½ million to improve station facilities along the line. Consequently, over the past two years the line has seen some of the strongest rates of passenger growth of any outside the London commuter area.  I welcome community service designation as a further step towards a successful and productive partnership between the rail industry, local authorities and rail users which can only result in further growth in passenger numbers and in improving the service to meet these passengers’ needs."

Notes for editors:

1 The Community Rail Development Strategy looks at innovative ways of operating local branch lines, through a programme of cost management, a drive to increase passenger numbers and direct community involvement via local authorities, community rail partnerships, and other stakeholder groups. 

2 To date, 17 lines and their services have been designated as Community Rail Lines:

  • St Ives Bay Line: St Erth to St Ives June 2005. Selected as one of the six pilot projects.
  • Abbey Line: St Albans Abbey to Watford Junction June 2005. Selected as one of the six pilot projects.
  • Esk Valley Line: Middlesbrough to Whitby June 2005. Selected as one of the six pilot lines.
  • Tamar Valley Line: Plymouth to Gunnislake September 2005. Linked with Looe Valley as one of the six pilot projects.
  • Looe Valley Line: Liskeard to Looe September 2005. Linked with Tamar Valley as one of the six pilot projects.
  • Penistone Line: Barnsley to Huddersfield September 2005. Selected as one of the six pilot projects.
  • Island Line: Isle of Wight (Ryde to Shanklin), March 2006.
  • Tarka Line: Barnstaple to Cowley Junction Exeter, September 2006.
  • Maritime Line: Falmouth to Truro September 2006.
  • Derwent Valley: Derby to Matlock September 2006.
  • East Lancashire Line: Colne to Gannow Junction Burnley November 2006.
  • Gainsborough Line: Marks Tey to Sudbury November 2006.
  • Barton Line: Barton-on-Humber to Ulceby N. Junction January 2007.
  • Bittern Line: Norwich to Sheringham September 2007.
  • Lakes Line: Oxenholme - Windermere April 2008.
  • South Fylde Line: Blackpool South - Preston April 2008.
  • Lymington Line: Brockenhurst - Lymington July 2008

3  Additionally, eight services have been designated as Community Rail Services whilst not designating the lines on which they run. These services are designated when there are reasons why the infrastructure cannot be included in the designation – because it carries non-local traffic or heavy freight or has previously been designated as part of the Trans European Network.  To date the following services have been designated:

  • Poacher Line: Grantham to Skegness July 2006.  Selected as one of the six pilot projects.
  • Atlantic Coast Line: Newquay to Par September 2006.
  • Marston Vale Line: Bletchley to Bedford November 2006.
  • Wherry Lines : Norwich to Yarmouth & Lowestoft – via Berney Arms & Acle January 2007 (two services).
  • Clitheroe Line: Manchester to Clitheroe March 2007.
  • Medway Valley Line: Paddock Wood to Strood September 2007.
  • Severn Beach Line: Bristol Temple Meads - Severn Beach April 2008.

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