One of the German members of Citizens’ Rail’s academic team enjoyed an action-packed visit last week to research the UK’s community rail sector.
Fresh from his presentation to the International Geographers’ Union in Krakow, Dominik Elsmann from RWTH Aachen University (pictured left above, with Richard Burningham of the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership) visited the UK to interview a range of experienced figures from the country’s long-standing community rail sector.
The research will help to inform his PhD on “Regional railway governance”, with a specific focus on participatory approaches. In this context he will compare two case study regions in Germany and Great Britain.
Also as part of the trip, Dominik joined the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership at their local conference – giving the opportunity to hear from speakers from the rail industry, local authorities and the community rail sector. The conference was preceded by a social evening for early attendees. This included a “music train” on the Tamar Valley line (pictured), enjoyed by delegates and local passengers alike.
As the final part of the visit, a productive planning meeting with the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership was held. This focused on the relationship and links between Citizens’ Rail’s academic evaluation, and the project’s practitioner toolkit – a free resource being developed to help rail professionals and others to get local communities more involved in their local and regional railways.