Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership awards

A partnership based in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences picked up two national awards this month for its work to support the region’s branch line railways.

In front of an audience of more than 400 rail industry, community and government representatives, the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership won two categories at the national Community Rail Awards held in Derby earlier this month.

The ‘Involving Children and Young People Award’ went to the Partnership’s ‘Carbon Reduction Challenge’, an inter-school competition on the Looe Valley and Tamar Valley Lines to promote rail as a form of sustainable travel. 

Inspired by a bespoke animated video, children encouraged their families to leave the car at home and take the train. Schools submitted projects that included posters warning of the dangers of climate change, video debates and a rap. The winning entry, from Duloe School in south-east Cornwall, was a book looking at the environmental impact of different forms of transport.

Meanwhile ‘Best Marketing Campaign’ was awarded to the Partnership’s ‘Seize the Sunday’ project. This promoted the improved Sunday service on the Exeter-Exmouth line. The campaign included behaviour change research, a dedicated website, videos, targeted social media, newspaper advertising and a photo competition. 

Thanks to the campaign, Sunday journeys jumped 22.5 per cent compared to the same period the previous year. This equated to more than 16,000 extra journeys.

The Community Rail Awards, now in its 13th year, is organised by ACoRP, the Association of Community Rail Partnerships.

The Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership is a non-profit partnership between local authorities, the rail industry and the University of Plymouth, which works to promote use of the region’s branch lines, seeks improvements to service and facilities, to boost the local economy and to link the community and the railway.