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Stagecoach’s rail franchises – East Midlands Trains and South West Trains – have scored highly in this year’s Community Rail Awards.
The Perth-based transport group picked up a total of nine awards in partnership with community groups along its routes.
At East Midlands Trains, the Derwent Valley Line which covers services between Derby and Matlock, received three accolades including first prize in the category of small projects for its ‘Get on track for great school trips’ project to encourage school children to try the train. The team also picked up a second place award for the marketing of this project, and a third place for best marketing publication for its ‘Where will you go tonight?’ promotional leaflet promoting special summer evening train fares.
On the same route, the Peak Rail Shop & Information point at Matlock station, which has been transformed into a bright, welcoming visitor information point, collected a second place award for ‘Best Station Retail Outlet’ and was also highly commended for best station development.
Alsager station on the North Staffordshire Community Rail Line won second place for Best Station Adoption Group.
South West Trains also had success at the awards as a result of partnership working with the communities on its network. The Lymington-Brockenhurst Community Rail Partnership won a second place award under ‘Community Art Schemes’ for its ‘Show the Way – Rail Trail’ Art Project, a scheme that has been developed in partnership with pupils from Lymington Junior School to highlight the most direct and accessible route from Lymington Town station to the town. There were also a two further awards for initiatives on the South West Trains’ route, with Sandown station picking up a third place award for its new community cafe, ‘The Larder and Pie House’ which has been developed by the tenant into a real community hub, and Christchurch station for ‘Best Community Rail Event’ for its celebration of the 150th anniversary of the railway in Christchurch.
The Community Rail Awards is an annual awards event run by ACoRP (the Association of Community Rail Partnerships). They were set up in 2005 so that the unsung heroes and heroines of the community rail world would have their hard work and dedication publicly recognised and rewarded. This year’s awards were held in Swindon on 28 September.
Steven Stewart, Stagecoach Group Director of Communications, said: "Community rail partnerships are making a real difference in many parts of the country, delivering practical improvements to station facilities and train services.
"The railway is the hub of local communities and these awards are an endorsement of the hard work of the many dedicated local people and organisations we work with all year round."
For more information about the ACoRP awards, visit www.acorp.uk.com.