Lincolnshire community rail group helps to launch national campaign promoting scenic and sustainable tourism by rail

The new Scenic Rail Britain website features Poacher Line through Ancaster, Sleaford and Heckington. EMN-170516-174004001
The new Scenic Rail Britain website features Poacher Line through Ancaster, Sleaford and Heckington. EMN-170516-174004001

A Lincolnshire-based community rail group – the Poacher Line Community Rail Partnership – is today (Wednesday) helping to launch a nationwide campaign to encourage people to explore scenic parts of Britain by rail.

The Poacher Line is a community line running from Grantham, through Sleaford to Skegness.

A new website, scenicrailbritain.com, blog and social media channels are being launched by the Association of Community Rail Partnerships and its members at stations around the country. They will offer inspiration and information to help tourists and day-trippers plan visits to epic landscapes, coastal scenes, historic sites and picturesque areas by train, particularly via Britain’s wonderful ‘community rail’ routes.

The Poacher Line team will be joining the Association of Community Rail Partnerships at Kings Cross Station in London this morning, promoting Scenic Rail Britain and highlighting the attractions of exploring historic Lincolnshire by rail.

They will be enlisting the help of a small group of ‘knights’ from Lincoln’s Knights’ Trail to promote Lincolnshire’s history to the thousands of commuters passing through the station.

Scenic Rail Britain aims to help domestic and foreign tourists access some of the country’s hidden gems, while travelling sustainably and avoiding the stresses of driving. It highlights the huge range of landscapes, sights and attractions that can be enjoyed and accessed by train, including via the scores of lines that community rail partnerships work to promote and enhance.

Tourism by rail is said by the partnerships to be making a growing contribution to local economies. Rail usage in this sector has increased by 30 per cent over the last ten years, with approximately three million annual visitors using the train as part of their trip, adding £510m to the UK economy.

Kaye Robinson, the Poacher Line’s Community Rail Partnership Officer, said: “Today’s event and the Scenic Rail Britain campaign is a great opportunity for us to promote our wonderful railway line to thousands of commuters and potential visitors. We know very well that Lincolnshire has so much to offer domestic and foreign visitors: from beautiful coastline, to quaint villages, to the fascinating history and majestic sites of our towns. We hope that Scenic Rail Britain will help us get that across to wider audiences, and encourage people to visit by rail rather than car. It’s an enjoyable way to travel that gives a different perspective, benefits the local economy, and means less traffic, noise and pollution in our communities.”

Jools Townsend, chief executive of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships, said: “We are excited to launch Scenic Rail Britain with help from our Lincolnshire based member the Poacher Line. This campaign is all about helping families, day trippers and foreign visitors explore our beautiful countryside and fascinating heritage through sustainable, scenic and non-stressful travel. Many people don’t realise the scope for seeing Britain’s stunning landscapes, pretty villages and historic sites by rail – and making use of our wonderful, often little-known, ‘community rail’ lines, like the Poacher Line, is a great way to do this.

“Anyone thinking of making a trip, or wanting to find out more about what’s on their doorstep, can check out scenicrailbritain.com, for practical tips, itineraries and inspiration.”

Scenic Rail Britain is being launched through activities at train stations around the country by the Association of Community Rail Partnerships. The event will reach thousands of commuters with information on Scenic Rail Britain, and on some of Britain’s most scenic community railway lines.

Community rail partnerships work at grassroots level to engage local communities, help people to get the most from their railways, and promote rail as a key part of sustainable, healthy travel.