Give the Train a Try

Turning a bad news story into good news for rail

May 24, 2022

Paul Bromley

Concept and aims

A story in the local newspaper highlighted concerns among people with disabilities about using the trains along the Seaford to Brighton line because of the gap between the train and the platform edge.

Residents wrote to the paper to share their worries and express similar sentiments. The story featured for several weeks.

The challenge was to change perceptions of train travel and turn a bad news story about rail into a good news one.

What happened

Line Officer Paul Bromley contacted the people who had written to the paper to discuss their concerns.

Working with train operator Southern, a Try a Train trip was arranged for the newspaper’s village correspondent Pauline Cherry who had said she wouldn’t travel by train unless accompanied because of sight and mobility problems.

The visit was timed to coincide with Community Rail Network’s week of activities using the theme of ‘Give the Train a Try’.

The trip resulted in positive feedback and publicity including increased confidence from Pauline who then wrote about her experience in her newspaper column.




Renewed confidence in travelling by train
Increased knowledge of how to buy tickets
How to get help with Assisted Travel
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