South Western Railway celebrate first year of try the train

Corfe Castle Train
Credit: South Western Railway

South Western Railway has announced that it has celebrated the first anniversary of its innovative Community Ambassador programme, which includes the popular Try the Train days.

Community Ambassadors are volunteers, they’re SWR employees who go above and beyond their day jobs to share their time, experience and knowledge with members of the public.

Since June 2018, 35 Ambassadors have hosted more than 25 ‘Try the Train’ trips for a range of groups.

These trips help to build the confidence of people who traditionally have felt excluded from public transport.

Over the last year,  ‘Try the Train’ events have included:

  1. Jimmy, a long-cane user who suffers from glaucoma, usually travels with the support of Gemma. He spent time on the train to learn how to use the train himself, more safely.
  2. Children from Red Barn Primary School who described their Try the Train trip ‘as the best ever’ when they travelled with Community Ambassadors Ian Edwards, Ann McDermott, Jessykar Donald, Tarnia Rayment, and Rail Community Officer, Chris Campbell.
  3. Helping vulnerable parents from Homestart Buster, a charity which supports local families with friendship, advice and support, to gain experience and become more confident travelling with their young children and toddlers by train.
What did the officials say?

South Western Railway’s Community Rail Manager, Andy Harrowell, said:

“We are delighted that the hard work and dedication of our teams of Ambassadors has made this programme such a success. Across the year we have been amazed by the number of groups we have been able to give their first train trip to, leaving each person with a smile on their face and improved knowledge about our services.

“To top the success of the last twelve months, the team’s hard work has been recognised by the prestigious National Rail Awards as we’ve been shortlisted in the Customer Service Excellence category. Congratulations to all our Ambassadors and I look forward to another year of success.”

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  • South Western Railway should bring back the London Waterloo-Corfe Castle service during the summer with extra Class 158 DMU trains to cover the new service.

    • I heard that SWR were running a Summer Saturday service Waterloo dep 6.35am to Corfe Castle, via Yeovil & Weymouth. Similar schedules as before.