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East Midlands Trains and its community partners scooped up a host of awards at this year’s annual Community Rail Awards.
The annual community rail awards, arranged by the Association of Community Rail Partnerships, were held in Derby for the first time on Thursday 5 October. Community groups from right across the UK converged in the city to recognise and celebrate the fundamental role community rail plays in maintaining and improving the railway network.
East Midlands Trains and its community partners, including the Derwent Valley Line Community Rail Partnership (Derby to Matlock), the North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership (Derby to Crewe) and the Poacher Line Community Rail Partnership (Nottingham to Skegness) picked up six awards at the 13th annual Community Rail Awards.
Most Enhanced Station Building and Surroundings – Long Eaton station for the Street Scene Transformation
The Long Eaton station adopters, Sawley Parish Council working alongside CrossCountry Trains, Derbyshire County Council, East Midlands Trains and Network Rail picked up third place award for their work in transforming the Long Eaton street scene from a neglected eyesore into a much-praised collection of planting beds. The extensive improvements, all completed by hand, included recycling 90 railway sleepers and utilising free woodchip to create impressive new raised planting areas. This project was also awarded joint second place in the ‘Best Street, Community Area or Friends Group’ category.
Best Marketing or Communications Campaign – Poacher Line CRP and Visit Lincoln for ‘It’s faster by rail’
The Poacher Line Community Rail Partnership, in partnership with Visit Lincoln, were awarded second place for the far reaching marketing campaign to promote Lincolnshire as a destination highly accessible by rail.
Photo competition/Best ‘Essence of Community Rail’
Amy Scadding, St George’s Academy won second place with the photo captioned ‘Service with a smile’ for her photo taken on the Poacher Line route.
It’s Your Station – Cromford Station Group for Cromford Station Improvements
Through harnessing a range of local interest, the Cromford Community has transformed the station into a welcoming and well-cared for station with significantly increased passenger numbers, winning the silver prize in this category.
It's Your Station - Ancaster Primary School, Sustrans and volunteers
The Station Garden Adoption Project at Ancaster Station picked up the bronze award in this category for the scheme set up by Sustrans Officer Jon Moody in January 2017, offering a group of primary school children the opportunity to adopt the station’s garden. The pupils worked hard to create an eye catching and environmentally friendly display complete with natural habitats.
Outstanding Volunteer Contribution – Jan Ratcliffe at Kidsgrove
At 72 years of age, Jan Radcliffe has been a dedicated station volunteer for seven years. Jan’s unfailing commitment has seen her enter the station into numerous competitions and to date it has won 25 different awards for the gardens. Jan was awarded third place for Outstanding Volunteer Contribution.
A special train naming also took place in honour of the Community Rail Awards, with one of East Midlands Trains Class 158 trains named “The Station Volunteer”. Councillor Garry Purdy, Vice-Chairman of the Derwent Valley Community Rail Partnership and an active station adopter at Cromford chose the winning name which was unveiled on Friday 6 October at Derby Station.
Jake Kelly, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains, said: “We were so pleased to play a part in recognising the fantastic work taking place on community rail lines right across the country. From community art schemes to marketing campaigns, there’s a huge amount to be proud of and where better to celebrate than Derby, which has a proud railway heritage spanning over 178 years. Well done to all the winners, these are very well-deserved awards.”
On naming the train, Councillor Garry Purdy added: “Evidently a lot of hard work had gone into the organisation and all concerned must take credit for making everyone welcome to Derby. This includes of course ACORP, East Midlands Trains and all other contributors to this event. It was made all the more special for me having won the honour to name the special train. I also like to think that the new name – ‘The Station Volunteer' will long pay honour to all the Station Adopters and Volunteers that so ably assist and improve the stations around the country.”
For more details of the ACoRP awards or community rail visit acorp.uk.com.