Good News Friday: Your weekly roundup of positive rail news!

Posted: 26 April 2024 | | No comments yet

In this week’s good news roundup, RBF’s raffle, Network Rail’s outreach to primary schools and Northern’s connection to the Railway Children!

good news friday

Railway Benefit Fund launch their Railway Family Week raffle!

rbf raffle

RBF’s Railway Family Week Raffle is back! This year they have three incredible prizes up for grabs: a Hornby Bundle, a Desktop Departure Board and tickets to ‘Here & Now’, the Steps Musical!

To be in with a chance of winning, purchase your raffle ticket for just £5. You can choose to buy tickets for your favourite prize, or purchase tickets for all three.

The best part is that every raffle ticket you purchase will go towards supporting the Railway Benefit Fund, a UK charity dedicated to supporting current, former and retired railway workers and their families.

RBF express their thanks to Hornby, UK Departure Boards and Pete Waterman for kindly donating these prizes.

Rail safety is the focus of Easter sports activities in Levenmouth

levenmouth network rail

A two-week programme of Easter sports activities helped deliver rail safety advice for young people from across Levenmouth.

Run by Fife Active Schools and Community Use Schools in partnership with Network Rail, the Easter programme encouraged participation in sport while promoting physical activity and wellbeing.

The multi-sport initiative, based at Kennoway and Thornton Primary schools, and Levenmouth Academy, has been ongoing since 2022 and offers a pathway for young people to participate in sport.

It has enabled participants to get active and have some fun and has provided a platform for crucial rail safety messages as part of the Scottish Government-funded Levenmouth rail link project.

Five key rail safety messages have been delivered, focusing on keeping people safe and off the tracks through a range of activities and initiatives in the community.

Callum Reston, Active Schools Co-ordinator said, “This partnership has been really worthwhile, and it has given us a really good opportunity to reach an audience of young people and families in the area to make them aware of the importance of rail safety ahead of the opening of the rail link.

“As we approach the opening date, our ambassadors continue to deliver those important messages and make sure our messages are consistent right through our delivery.

“This partnership with the Levenmouth Rail Link project has been a fantastic asset to Active Schools and Community Use as it has given us opportunities to offer free and accessible provisions for communities who need it most in our area.

“While the new railway link has many benefits, it also comes with potential dangers and raising awareness of this across the area is key to empowering people to make the right choices and keep themselves, and others, safe.”

Joe Mulvenna, project manager for Network Rail said: “It’s important that everyone in Levenmouth is aware of the potential dangers of an operational railway, particularly for a community that hasn’t had trains running on the line for more than 50 years.

“We want everyone to enjoy and utilise the railway and we will do our best to make sure that everyone in the community is equipped with the knowledge they need to make the right decisions when around the tracks and stations to keep themselves safe.”

The Easter programme has created opportunities for young leaders and ambassadors to enhance their volunteering experiences through community sport and physical activity.

As part of the Levenmouth rail link project, safety messaging has been delivered to communities through talks, interactive sessions, events, and site visits.

The project team has visited numerous community groups and initiatives; including youth groups, voluntary organisations and has already covered 14 local primary schools along the route.

Northern backs community groups efforts to boost claims classic novel was inspired by Greater Manchester setting

northern railway children

It is a debate unlikely ever to be fully resolved: Was the novel The Railway Children inspired by the author’s hometown in south east London, its fictional setting in Yorkshire or, in fact, by Strines station in Stockport, Greater Manchester.

But now, the train operator Northern has backed two local community groups that have launched a new walking tour to boost the town’s claim to be the inspiration behind the classic novel.

South East Manchester Community Rail Partnership and the Friends of Strines Station have put together a 4.75-mile walking tour between Strines and Marple stations in Stockport that highlights ten locations it says were the inspiration behind the setting and storyline of the book by Edith Nesbit.

They include:

  • a house said to be the real ‘Three Chimneys’, the name of the house where the characters live when they move to the village
  • the home of Edward Ross, the company secretary of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway who is said to be the basis of the character of ‘the Old Gentleman’ who comes to the children’s aid
  • and the location of a landslip on the railway near Strines in 1893 which they say inspired the storyline in the book.

To download a copy of the walking tour guide, click here.

Craig Harrop, regional director for Northern in the North West, said: “It’s a compelling case and we support the Community Rail Partnership and Friends of Strines Station in their efforts to highlight the local connections to the classic novel.

“It’s certainly a beautiful part of our network and anything that supports people using the railway to explore the region is a good thing.”

Simon Temple, chair of South East Manchester Community Rail Partnership, said, “It’s fantastic to see a renewed interest in Edith Nesbit’s classic story thanks to the popularity of 2022’s The Railway Children Return which has introduced a new generation to the series and got people reminiscing about the original.

“We hope walkers and families enjoy discovering or rediscovering these beautiful spots that are easily accessible from the rail line.”

Northern is the second largest train operator in the UK, with 2,500 services a day to more than 500 stations across the North of England.