A project to promote barrier-free rail travel has been launched in Cumbria


The Cumbrian Coast Line Community Rail Partnership, working with Northern Trains and three day service groups – West House, Carlisle Day Services and Allerdale and Copeland Day Opportunities – has launched Beyond the Home, a program that will see the displays installed at stations .

The aim of the project is to give those using day services – typically used by disabled people receiving daytime care – a chance to develop skills and increase self-confidence, a spokesman for the partnership said.

Participants were involved in project research, rail safety, working with timetables, ticket staff and conductors, and traveled along the scenic route to enable people with disabilities to travel safely and independently.

The displays, produced by Firpress, introduce a new mascot – Travis the Train Traveler – featured within.

The partnership said that accessibility along this line “continues to be a challenge to Victorian infrastructure and a lack of investment”, which this project sought to highlight, as well as “issues that create barriers to independent travel”, which it aims to ” to raise awareness of the need.” Improvements'.

The panels are scheduled to be installed at select locations in April, along with the release of a film documenting the project created by Amedia.

Warren Birch, Community Rail Partnership Officer, said: “It has been wonderful working with the various organizations and particularly the people who access the services and are the real stars of the Beyond the Home project.”

“Seeing their initial ideas develop into final products was inspiring, as was the positive change in people’s self-esteem and confidence.

“Community Rail Cumbria hopes people will travel by train to visit hidden gem destinations along the West Cumbria coast.”

Annamarie Armstrong, local manager at Cumberland Day Services, said: “It has been an empowering experience for everyone involved to see the amazing achievements of the people we support.”

Lisa Rumney, from West House, said: “Our boys really enjoy using the train service to take them out into the wider community. We hope to continue to work in partnership and look for other ways to improve accessibility at stations.”