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  • GWR Community Rail Dinner: June 13, 2019
  • GWR Community Rail Conference: June 14, 2019
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Author Topic: GWR Community Rail Conference, 14th (and 13th) June 2019  (Read 1736 times)
grahame
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« on: April 20, 2019, 09:57:12 am »

The GWR Community Rail Conference will take place in Bristol this year (2019) on 14th June.   Each Community Rail Partnership nominates people from their own 'patch'.  The idea is to being active volunteers together to network / share experiences across their Community Rail lines and services for the mutual good, and also to say "thank you" for the hard work that so many people put in from planters to promotion, and from litter picking to livening up that stations and lines.    On the evening of the previous day (that's Thursday 13th June),  GWR host a much smaller number of key people - a sort of "Committee Meeting" I suppose - at the same venue.

Pictures from last year's events in Swindon at http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=19245.msg239806#msg239806 - thanks to BobM for the Thursday evening pictures, at which the TransWilts team (the "home team" if you like) was presented with a celebratory cake for the roaring success of the partnership and line - picture (courtesy GWR) of the TransWilts directors present - Paul, Peter and Horace. Also with especial thanks to Bob and Lee, and to Erin and Reuben.  On the Thursday, I helped with a stall at Swindon Station to welcome VIPs and promote Community Rail to regular travellers, and I joined the main conference on Friday - a really useful day.

Many of our members and lurkers here are members of or helpers at Community Rail Partnerships, and your Community Rail Officer will have had the horrid "wedding list" job over past weeks of suggesting names which are then "normalised" by GWR (i.e. if one partnership asks for 5 places and another of the same size asks for 50 ...).  Invites are trickling out.  The Coffee Shop follows the Community Rail ethos, although not fitting the "line" nor "service" or even "region" model. I am delighted that GWR will be inviting a couple of our team of volunteers along - thank you, GWR.

« Last Edit: April 20, 2019, 10:13:40 am by grahame » Logged

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest and of RailFuture
grahame
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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2019, 03:53:58 pm »

Greetings from Bristol ... where I have already bumped into some old well established friends and made a couple of new ones.  From a quick scan through the list, there are / will be a dozen forum members here tomorrow - perhaps half that number this evening ... so watch this space for feedback!
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bobm
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« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2019, 04:23:02 pm »

Pictures to follow.  Attended two pre-Conference events.   Enjoyable lunch at the Strawberry Line cafe at Yatton followed by a trip to Severn Beach.
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infoman
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2019, 07:13:35 pm »

Is this event open to everyone on Friday

and if so where will it be taking place?
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rogerw
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2019, 07:45:25 pm »

No. Invitation only.
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grahame
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2019, 12:11:01 am »

Pictured - speakers and audience from this evening's Community Rail dinner.  Billed as a "thank you" to the most dedicated of Community Rail volunteers who have put in many days of work, it becomes a very serious networking evening as people circulate and talk through Community Rail and slightly wider issues.  Almost without exception, the people there tonight have put in a great deal and are 'driven' in what they do, and the networking is intensely valuable.  I'm delighted to have been able to attend this year and quickly confirm to a few VIPs just how well the Coffee Shop is doing, and how it's headed forward.

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froome
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2019, 08:33:48 pm »

There were a huge number of Transport Police standing around platform 3 at Temple Meads this morning. It looked and certainly felt like there was a security alert on, all quite scary really.

Surely the Community Rail Conference can't be seen as that much of a threat can it?  Grin
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grahame
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« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2019, 05:27:01 am »

A big thank you to the team at GWR who organised this conference and who made those attending very welcome.  An awful lot of hard work, very well done; perhaps (as ever with events) they had their trials and tribulations on the day, but on the surface for those of us attending it ran as a well oiled machine.

Over coming weeks and months, Coffee Shop members and guests will see posts and other follow ups which have been positively informed and / or developed from learning and networking opportunities that this annual meeting uniquely offers, and from other projects which - although not instigated yesterday - were informed / driven forward. 

By our nature, Coffee Shop members often have associated interests with other groups too (indeed the Coffee Shop is often secondary). We were well represented over the whole event, and it was very clear from elements of the presentations that GWR very much see us as an example of community and rail in partnership across their franchise area.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2019, 04:42:02 am by grahame » Logged

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bobm
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« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2019, 02:39:31 pm »

As I tried to convey in my short vote of thanks at the end, the event gives everyone present the chance to ask questions, share ideas and get information. 

There is a social element with a meal but over the two days you can get a lot out of it if you want to put the effort in.
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RichardB
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« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2019, 12:03:59 am »

As I tried to convey in my short vote of thanks at the end, the event gives everyone present the chance to ask questions, share ideas and get information. 

There is a social element with a meal but over the two days you can get a lot out of it if you want to put the effort in.

Your vote of thanks was spot on, Bob. 
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MarkHopwood
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« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2019, 07:41:50 am »

Thanks to all who came and to Bob for kind words at the end. The work done by members of community rail partnerships is hugely valuable.
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bobm
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« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2019, 09:20:51 am »

As always after standing up to say something you think of extra things you could have said at the time.

I found the two days very informative and also inspiring.

One of the pre-conference events was a trip to the Strawberry Line Café at Yatton.  Based on the Taunton-bound platform, it provides a popular service of hot food and drinks from breakfast time into the afternoon.  Many of its workforce come from groups who find getting jobs difficult either due to social, mental or physical challenges.  All are paid a proper wage for the job and it was evident they enjoy what they do.

The food was excellent and good value for money.  Newspaper cuttings on the wall show the long journey it took from the initial idea to getting the café open. 









It was then back to Bristol Temple Meads for a trip to Severn Beach.  The introduction of Turbos last year saw reliability on the branch drop, but it is now improved.

The Severnside Community Rail Partnership have been working hard with local groups to improve the look of the stations on the line.  Most are adorned with large murals which certainly brighten up to the environment



They also seem to deter the cruder applications of tags and other graffiti.   I suspect if it were not for the mural, the white wall next to it would be a mecca for those with the spray cans





The evening session started with an excellent speech from Peter Wilkinson from the Department for Transport.  He talked passionately and fluently about rail for some 25 minutes without notes.  One of the best talks I have heard for a long time.

Day two saw more interesting talks and presentations on the conference theme of social inclusion - including the story of the Strawberry Line Cafe. 

Tim Bowles, the mayor of the West of England Combined Authority, gave an update on transport in his area.

After lunch Mark Hopwood gave a wide-ranging presentation on the state of the business and plans for the future.  The continuing negotiations for the next Direct Award are continuing, which limits all parties on what can be said, but with the major timetable changes planned for December there is still plenty to talk about.  Billed as the biggest change on the Western since the HSTs were introduced in 1976, the schedules will start to take advantage of the IETs' quicker acceration and shorter station dwell times.





In between the sessions there were opportunities to speak to GWR managers on a one to one basis as well as colleagues from other Community Rail Partnerships.  No doubt the results of those conversations will help to inform discussions on here in the weeks and months to come.

As has already been said - it was a very well organised event and a profitable use of two days.
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grahame
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« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2019, 01:06:07 pm »

Thanks to member RichardB for posting the GWR video setting out what community rail does and introducing each of the partnerships in the GWR area.   An excellent piece telling you what Community Rail does in the various areas.   Not sure if this link will work if you don't have a Facebook account though.

https://www.facebook.com/richard.burningham/videos/10216890765639223/
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bobm
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« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2019, 03:40:18 pm »

Also available here

https://vimeo.com/341778418/c3fbb490fe

GWR have released a slightly amended version of the video - it removes a typo from the opening credits.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2019, 03:39:00 pm by bobm » Logged
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