On June 14/15 Great Western Railway (GWR) held its annual Community Rail Conference at the ‘STEAM’ museum in Swindon, a splendid event attended by over 100 people from GWR and Community Rail.

Sussex Community Rail Partnership (SCRP) sent several delegates to showcase the North Downs Line which runs from Reading to Gatwick Airport, manning our own stand in the marketplace. It was a great opportunity to see and hear GWR’s Managing Director, Mark Hopwood, demonstrating his huge support for Community Rail and to hear Kulvinder Bassi of the Department for Transport talking about his department’s recognition of the value of Community Rail. We were also treated to presentations by ‘Okerail’ in North Devon, which is a heritage line looking to extend its links to connect to main line services, and on Cornish transport integration between trains and buses.  SCRP delegates were able to network with other CRPs and GWR, adding great kudos to a superbly organised occasion.

Mark Hopwood, CEO of GWR, addresses the conference at the STEAM museum