Partnership shortlisted in six categories of national awards


The Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership has had six entries shortlisted for 2016’s national Community Rail Awards. The nominations are:

A song for the Tamar Valley Line
(Community Art Schemes – renewable and smaller projects)

Linking two schools at either end of the beautiful Tamar Valley Line, this project aimed to broaden the horizons of the children involved by getting them out of the classroom and on to the train to create a song which captured the essence of the line and inspire the local population to visit too.

Composed and recorded over two days, the final product was an art installation for the day at Plymouth station featuring a Dial a Song phone booth to hear the extremely catchy song. Passengers described the project as “fascinating” and dozens even created their own poems.

Mini-adventurers take the train
(Best Marketing Campaign)

The best way to forge a connection with passengers is on their own terms – and nowadays that means on social media. To inspire families to try the train, the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership ran a video campaign on four social networks – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram – to highlight the enjoyment and sense of adventure that young children get from travelling by train.

The 25-second video was produced in-house, using volunteers as models and for the voiceover. Thanks to innovative audience targeting techniques and an advertising budget of just £200, more than 10,000 parents viewed the video within a fortnight.

Exeter St Thomas station
(It’s Your Station)

Exeter St Thomas Station was very rundown in 2014 and has been transformed, with new waiting shelters, ticket machines, CCTV, Harrington Hump, community art and a wildlife-friendly Eco Garden installed. Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership (DCRP) set up an excellent community partnership to generate and implement ideas for the station including a new Friends of St Thomas Station group, and worked with GWR, councillors, Devon Wildlife Trust, Natural England, Exeter University Student Volunteers Environment Project, Exeter College, two local schools, local artist Monica Shanta Brown, and Bloomin’ St Thomas group to enable the ideas to become a reality.

Loop the Loop: Branching Out!
(Best Community Engagement Event)

Loop the Loop; Branching Out was a two day event celebrating the Looe Valley Line and Cornwall’s railway heritage. It engaged young and old in a creative and fun way.

Through escorted rail trips, creative workshops and heritage research, 170 local school children created a station mural with Beano artist Nick Brennan, travelled the line dressed as Victorians for the day, and produced bookmarks promoting the line.

Volunteer ‘heritage experts’, recruited through the project, shared their steam railway memories and research with the 200 members of the public who enjoyed the event’s pop-up library, railway exhibition and art sound performance.

The Seaside Train
(Involving Young People)

Riviera Line’s Artist in Residence Melissa Muldoon involved children at Starcross Primary School in writing, illustrating and promoting ‘The Seaside Train’ book, to inspire families to take a trip on the Riviera Line which links Exeter, Starcross, Newton Abbot and Paignton. The book is professionally designed and self-published on Amazon (get your copy). 70 copies of the book were published, 45 sold by 15 June 2016, proceeds to Starcross Primary School’s solar panels project. The book includes the children’s poems inspired by the Citizens’ Rail train, a single coach train given a special livery by GWR, including fantastic adventures under the sea.

More pepper with that, madam?
(Photo competition)

Photo by James Dadzitis, taken on the Munchtime Express.


See the full shortlist for each category (PDF).