About the Abbey Line Community Rail Partnership

The Abbey Line Community Rail Partnership was established in June 2005 and brings together a number of partner organisations with the purpose of increasing usage of the line.

The work of the CRP also aims to enhance station environments to make them a more pleasant place and to give the local community the opportunity to become more involved in their local railway line. Through the delivery of improvements to the line, this enables the railway to play a greater part in contributing to the benefits brought by local economic development. Ultimately one of our aims is to bring environmental benefit through increased usage of the Line and reduction in car use.

The CRP essentially consists of interested parties, usually local authorities, train operators, Network Rail, rail user groups, and other community organisations, which are signed up to a joint set of aims and objectives.
The work of the CRP is jointly funded by its member organisations, and CRPs normally appoint a Community Rail Officer, who undertakes most of the CRPs work.

What we do

  • Enhance and maintain station environments
  • Community support and engagement
  • Support delivery of improvements to the line
  • Encourage local economic development
  • Promote increased usage of the line and reduction in car use
  • Work with schools and local youth Organisations on rail safety, introduction to the railway and travelling with confidence

Every year we hold an ‘Open Day’ with the support of the train Operator and Community Rail Network, for local Organisations to showcase what Community Rail is and the work of our Partnership. It is an opportunity to learn more, ask questions and if interested become a member of the Partnership.

Previous Open Days has had the Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor in attendance to support us and encourage involvement of local organisations.

The Community Rail Network and Community Rail

Community Rail Partnerships are the backbone of the community rail movement, bringing together local groups and partners along railway lines to work with industry, and delivering a range of community engagement and promotional activities. They promote an understanding of the importance of local railways, in terms of improving mobility and sustainable travel, community cohesion and wellbeing, and social and economic development.

These partnerships are attuned to local needs and aspirations and passionate about rail; some have been going decades while others are just emerging. The work of community rail partnerships is varied, responding to local contexts, but includes:

  • Promoting understanding, use of and access to the railways, such as communicating service improvements, running
    visits and workshops, and promoting tourism by rail;
  • Helping communities engage in and have a voice in railway development so it meets their needs, such as coordinating and supporting volunteers and station ‘friends’ to enhance stations, or advising train operators on timetabling;
  • Bringing disused station property back into use, such as by achieving renovations, setting up community group spaces, or running social enterprises;
  • Running a range of activities to bring people together and promote social inclusion linked to the railways, such as local events, creative projects and educational programmes.

(Courtesy of Community Rail Network)

The Abbey Line Community Rail Partnership is a member of the Community Rail Network, who are the national body for Community Rail Partnerships in the UK.

The Community Rail Network offer support and advice to all CRP’s nationwide, they offer a small grant fund to help CRP’s with projects aims and objectives

To learn more about Community Rail and the Community Rail Network click here;




Department for Transport and Community Rail

The department of transport are committed to providing support to all Community Rail Partnership’s nationwide.

The Community Rail Development Strategy is a document setting out the government’s strategy to support community rail organisations to deliver the following:

  • Providing a voice for the community
  • Promoting sustainable, healthy and accessible travel
  • Bringing communities together
  • Support diversity, inclusion plus social and economic development

(Source:  The Department for Transport )

Accreditation is formal recognition by the Department for Transport, that a Community Rail Partnership (CRP) operates to a high standard and that its objectives and activities are supported by Government. The final decision for awarding accreditation is completed by Department for Transport and the Welsh Government.

Since 2018 when it was first introduced by the Department for Transport (Dft)  and the Community Rail Network (CRN) , the Abbey Line CRP has gone through the process and been awarded the Accredited status.

To learn more about the Government’s support of Community Rail Partnerships and to read the strategy document in full, click here;



Get involved

Contact us for further information

Get in touch if you’d like to know more about the Abbey Line CRP or our current volunteering opportunities.

We also have the answers to many questions on our FAQs page.

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