'Try the Train' sessions to encourage more people use services

South Western Railway will introduce new timetables from September. Picture SWR

South Western Railway will introduce new timetables from September. Picture SWR - Credit: Archant

Local community groups are being invited to book a free ‘Try the Train’ session with South Western Railway.  

Events are designed to reassure and encourage those who have not travelled by train before, or those who have limited experience on the railway, to ensure that it is a way of travelling everyone feels comfortable using. 

SWR community ambassadors will tell participants about how to travel by train, from buying a ticket and finding the right platform, to boarding a train and knowing when you have reached your destination. Staff also explain where customers can find help at the station, showing them the help points, information screens, and the new Assisted Boarding Points. 

Previous ‘Try the Train’ days have taken place with disadvantaged children from local schools, elderly members of the community, those with disabilities or accessibility needs, and with job or education seekers.  

Paula Aldridge, Community Rail Manager at South Western Railway, commented: “We are always looking for ways to improve access to railway travel and hope more community groups on our network see the benefits of a ‘Try the Train’ event. It is a perfect opportunity for people to familiarise themselves with the experience of rail travel, knowing that we are with them every step of the way. 

“Our goal is to make sure that all our customers feel confident and comfortable on our services and are never afraid to ask our staff a question. We hope that by showing them how to use our network, their future journeys with us will be easier for them. We look forward to welcoming new groups to our events and equipping more members of the communities we serve with the knowledge and confidence to use the railway to get to where they need to be.” 

South Western Railway is keen to hear from groups along the East Devon Line. They are inviting interested local groups to get in touch to see how a ‘Try the Train’ day could help them. For further information, a video about the scheme and details of how to apply, go to the dedicated page of SWR’s website, at: 

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southwesternrailway.com/other/about-us/community-and-rail-station-adoption/try-the-train 

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