Highland Main Line Community Rail Partnership takes part in national campaign to encourage sustainable tourism and discovery by rail

Last updated: Tuesday, 14 May 2019

News from the Highland Main Line Community Rail Partnership:

A Scottish community group, Highland Main Line Community Rail Partnership, is taking part in a nationwide campaign, organised by the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP), encouraging people to explore the historic and scenic destinations and attractions that surround their local railway lines.

The Highland Main Line Community Rail Partnership will be promoting their area's visitor destinations at London’s Kings Cross from 7.00am to 7.00pm, highlighting the attractions of exploring visitor destinations and attractions along the Highland Main Line, which takes in the Cairngorms National Park. For this year’s Community Rail in City, they will be bringing a taster of the Highlands to London, accompanied by the Atholl Highlanders, the only private army in the UK and the "Summer Holiday" cast from Pitlochry Festival Theatre.

Community Rail in the City is a flagship annual community rail event that promotes sustainable travel for tourism and recreation. This year’s event brings together 39 community rail partnerships – community-based groups that work to help communities get the most from their railways – and partners at 20 mainline stations.

As well as helping tourists access more of Britain through enjoyable, environmentally friendly means, tourism by rail makes a growing and vital contribution to local economies. Rail usage in this sector has increased by 30% 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.

Sally Spaven from Highland Main Line Community Rail Partnership, said:

“Community Rail in the City is a great opportunity for us to promote our wonderful railway line to thousands of commuters and potential visitors. We know very well that Highland Perthshire and the Cairngorms National Park has so much to offer domestic and foreign visitors, from the Beatrix Potter Centre, Blair Castle, Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Highland Folk Museum, Cairngorms Reindeer Centre and many historic sites in Badenoch and Strathspey. In particular we suggest that it is a great area to visit for the stunning scenery, heritage and wildlife.

We hope that Community Rail in the City will help us get that across to wider audiences and encourage people to visit by rail rather than car. As well as being a more relaxing and pleasurable way to travel, visiting the Highlands by rail 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’re really pleased that Highland Main Line CRP are getting involved in this important national campaign to promote exploration of their historic and scenic local railway lines. Across Britain, community railway lines take you off the beaten track, to some of our most amazing and fascinating destinations – and travel on them is especially rewarding, as they played a crucial part in our heritage, and bring you right into the heart of communities. Today, our members will be popping up at stations across Britain and engaging thousands of commuters to inspire and advise on daytrips, weekends and holidays by rail. This sort of tourism by rail is great for the families and holiday-makers, it’s more sustainable than driving, and it provides a critical boost to local economies.”


Highland Main Line CRP - The HML CRP was signed off by the Scottish Transport Minister in 2014, it covers 8 rural railway stations and small communities in Highland Perthshire and the Cairngorms National Park. Many of the Stations have unique listed buildings and the line itself was a magnificent feat of Victorian engineering over challenging terrain of high mountains and rivers.

Community rail is all about ensuring communities get the most from their railways, and promoting rail as a key part of sustainable, healthy travel. There are nearly 60 community rail partnerships around Britain, working at a grassroots level along railway routes to connect the community with the train operator and other local partners. They deliver a range of activities to engage and benefit local people and support the development of the railway. More than 1,300 smaller community rail groups, such as station friends, work locally, often involving volunteers in ensuring the station is a welcoming and productive hub for the community.

For further details, images and comments, contact Nik Schofield (Communications & Marketing Manager) on [email protected]