We’ve been working hard behind-the-scenes on our upcoming Citizens’ Rail toolkit, which is now rapidly taking shape. Here’s an update…
Set to be launched this summer, the toolkit will be an online guide to inspire more people in the UK and abroad about community rail, and to give them the advice and knowledge to make things happen.
It will be full of examples, photos and videos of great projects. This will range from the French station that is now home to a thriving creche, to the award-winning “passport” scheme run by Community Rail Lancashire to engage local schools with their railway. All of this will be organised under four main themes:
• Creating better stations
• Bringing lines to life
• Getting people involved
• Evaluating your success
The finished mini-website will be aimed at audiences including the rail industry, local, regional and national government, other public sector organisations and of course CRPs and volunteers.
We realise that appealing to all of these groups is a tough challenge. However we’ve received some excellent feedback about how to make the toolkit useful, attractive and effective.
Last autumn we ran workshop sessions about it at ACoRP’s North and South seminars and at the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership conference. Along with regular discussions with our UK, French, Dutch and German partners, the workshops generated some extremely helpful ideas about what the toolkit needs to look like, prioritise and include. A helping hand also comes from all the resources already out there, like ACoRP’s Station Adoption guide. We won’t try to duplicate or compete with these – instead we will highlight and link to them.
Once we have a working draft of the toolkit (something we’re beavering away at as we speak), then we hope to share it with members of our target audiences in order to “road test” it. Following any tweaks, we will then create French and German language versions to increase its potential audience on the continent.
Even after it has been launched, we hope that the toolkit will continue to grow, thanks to contributions from the community rail sector and others. Readers will be able to share their own advice and experience by adding comments and suggesting new case studies to be featured. In this way we are aiming for the toolkit to provide a long-lasting legacy for the Citizens’ Rail project, which comes to a close this autumn.
To hear more about the toolkit and to be notified about its launch later in the year, sign up to receive the quarterly Citizens’ Rail e-newsletter.