Saturday 23 June heralded a celebration of Carlisle Station in style with a host of local produce and craft stands, entertainers, musicians and Community Rail Partnerships coming together and bringing a carnival atmosphere to the day! Community Rail Cumbria worked in close partnership with Virgin Trains to host the event which was part of the annual ACoRP Community Rail in the City initiative. Despite the challenges of a rail strike and track engineering work, family groups and the travelling public came out to enjoy the entertainments and learn more about Community Rail.
Particular thanks go to DRS who provided Class 57 and Class 88 locomotives for people to board and explore; Story Rail who supplied a supervised mini digger for kids to drive; Northern Rail who provided a family explorer ticket prize giveaway; ACoRP who helped to fund the event; the Cumbrian Magic Circle who wowed the audiences with magic tricks galore and local railway enthusiast groups who set up model railway displays for kids of all ages to enjoy!
The Railway Cinema showed inspirational new drone footage of the scenic lines through Cumbria, an exhilarating cab ride from the front of a Virgin Pendolino and the Story Rail Eden Brows restoration scheme after the floods and landslide in 2015.
Local produce suppliers included: Carlisle Brewing Co, Carwinley Preserves, Cake District, the Candy Bar and Grasmere Gingerbread together with a host of pop up craft shops with an amazing range of jewellery, cards and artwork. Thanks also to the Walking for Health and Sugar Smart groups who provided eye catching displays with a healthy message.
Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership, the Settle-Carlisle Development Company, the Lakes Line Rail User Group and the Cumbrian Coast Rail User Group also supported the event providing promotional literature about our local railway lines and encouraging people to travel to and through the area by train.
A delightful day building partnerships and spreading the Community Rail message – well done and thanks to all involved!