This week saw the uniting of four railway volunteer forces with Southeast Community Rail Partnership volunteer line chairs, Marshlink, 1066 Line ststaion partners and Kent and East Sussex heritage railway volunteers at our ‘Community Rail Thankyou Event’

Throughout the last 18months during Covid-19 restrictions there has been little opportunity for our Marshlink steering group members to meet in person. The 1066 Line Steering group which was created in October 2020 has sadly never had the opportunity to meet in person.

Steering group meetings have continued on line and community rail officers have met individually with groups along the lines but there has been little opportunity for informal chats and cross pollination of ideas which is so important in community rail.

The idea was to create a thank you event for all of the station partner and community members for all of their hard work over the difficult recent period. In addition for new to community rail members it was a chance to celebrate past projects and plan future ideas with long standing volunteers. With members of Southern and Southeastern rail attending it would be a good opportunity to make connections.

We planned to join forces with local heritage railway Kent and East Sussex at Tenterden which is also run predominantly by volunteers to enjoy a train ride out for the day. Volunteer SCRP line chairs Kevin Boorman (Marshlink) and James Abbott (1066) greeted our members at Robertsbridge and Appledore station for their heritage bus ride to Tenterden.

Warmly greeted by volunteers at the heritage railway community rail volunteers were treated to a on board refreshments and commentary on the round trip to Bodium and a guided tour of the engine sheds.

The rather damp weather did not dampen our spirits and we look forward to planning another event next year.