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Rail campaign seeks to boost rural tourism

A nationwide campaign aims to encourage people to explore the historic and scenic destinations and attractions that surround their local railway lines

The initiative was launched by the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) and its members at railway stations around the country on Wednesday (16 May).

ACoRP chief executive Jools Townsend said: We’re working with community rail groups across Britain to promote exploration of historic, scenic Britain.”

Community railway lines linked people to some fascinating destinations – and played a crucial part in UK heritage, bringing visitors right into the heart of communities.

“This sort of tourism by rail is great for the families and holiday-makers, it’s more sustainable than driving, and it provides a critical boost to local economies.”

Community Rail in the City is a flagship annual community rail event that promotes sustainable travel for tourism and recreation.

It brought together 24 community rail partnerships – community-based groups that work to help communities get the most from their railways – and partners at 11 mainline stations.

The goal was to help local families, tourists and day-trippers plan visits to the visitor destinations and hidden gems by train, using the country’s ‘community rail’ routes.

This year’s event is particularly promoting exploration of historic places and events by rail, which can be especially rewarding given the railway’s important role in our heritage.

As well as helping people access more of Britain through enjoyable, environmentally friendly means, tourism by rail makes a growing and vital contribution to local economies.

Rail usage in this sector has increased by 30% over the last ten years, with approximately three million annual visitors using the train as part of their trip, adding £510m to the UK economy.

Community rail partnerships work at grassroots level to engage local communities, help people to get the most from their railways, and promote rail as a key part of sustainable, healthy travel.

All the community railway lines showcased through the event can be found on ACoRP’s Scenic Rail Britain website at www.scenicrailbritain.com.

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