AreaThe counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire, together with the unitary authority of Rutland and the cities of Derby, Leicester and Nottingham.
Trent Junction: the heart of the East Midlands rail network
- Summer railway conversation: Tuesday 25th August 2020; from 12:00; the Canalhouse, Nottingham.
- Branch AGM: Saturday 26th September 2020; from 12:30 to 13:15; Midland Hotel, Derby. Followed at 14:00 by an Open Meeting with guest speaker Thomas Raynor, Franchise Manager, CrossCountry. The AGM is for members only. Members' guests and prospective members are welcome at the Open Meeting. (Postponed from 2nd May. Speaker tbc for new date.)
- Open Branch Meeting (all members and prospective members welcome) preceded by Committee Meeting: October or November 2020; date, time and venue tbc.
- Pre-Christmas railway conversation: December 2020; date tbc; from 12:00; the Canalhouse, Nottingham.
- Open Branch Meeting (all members and prospective members welcome) preceded by Committee Meeting: January or February 2021; date, time and venue tbc.
Our Campaigning PhilosophyWe take our role as champions of our region's railways very seriously! They are important not only to local people but to the whole nation; many train journeys between other regions pass through the East Midlands. However, as a small group of volunteers with access to limited funds, we have to 'work smart'. We therefore aim to deploy ourselves where we can contribute optimally to the cause, while holding a candle for other potential rail developments. The reopening of many lines closed on the recommendation of Dr Beeching, plus many enhancements to the current network, have been desired by local communities for decades. But the stars rise and set on such aspirations with the political and economic landscape. We aim to observe when the stars are rising, and to use Railfuture's accumulated knowledge and experience to help bring about real, lasting developments. Indications that the stars are indeed rising are the formation of grass-roots groups to campaign for particular rail developments, and the preparation by local authorities of development plans with an emphasis on reducing their carbon footprint, or with the need to allocate large areas of land for housing and employment without creating excessive traffic problems. Local people self-organising may not know of the benefits they could reap by affiliating to Railfuture; local government officers employed today do not remember the 1950s, nor do an increasing majority of elected members. To assist us, we have compiled, in association with Railfuture Lincolnshire Branch, a comprehensive document entitled Strategy for Rail, listing all the rail developments sought in the East Midlands region. This document is continuously being updated; if you think it might be helpful to you, please request a copy of the current version from the Branch Secretary: eastmidlands at railfuture.org.uk.
East Midlands Branch in ActionWe always need new active members; if you are currently a sleeping member, or not yet a member at all, please consider becoming one! We aim to facilitate any contribution each individual active member wants to offer; on principle we only ask for more in exceptional circumstances and certainly do not send people on guilt trips for setting boundaries to their own involvement. We have a Committee comprising a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, who commit themselves to the duties expected of these roles, plus a circle of other elected Committee Members, who may take on other particular roles, with media for example. Regarding specific rail issues, we have a Portfolio System. Any individual active member may, with the approval of the Committee, become a Portfolio Holder, and thereby become empowered to campaign in the name of Railfuture on that issue.
The best way to decide whether you want to work with us is to come along to one of our regular Open Branch Meetings (see list above). Whatever your age, gender, background or personal quirks, you will be welcome; the railways are, or should be, for everyone! As well as discussing the ongoing business of the Branch, we often have special guests, most typically from the rail industry; you will get an opportunity to meet these people in an informal setting and give them your views. We consider building relationships to be the most important part of rail campaigning: with all elements of the rail industry, with politicians and their officials both local and national, with other groups campaigning for similar ends. Second, we put considerable effort into compiling responses to formal consultations, as contributions to a national Railfuture response where the consultation is of a national nature, although we always aim and prefer to advise the authors of such documents at an earlier stage; this saves everybody time and effort!
Railfuture's greatest strength is its national nature; as an organisation, we can see the big picture. In order for this to mean anything on the ground, Railfuture's Branches need to work together on issues of shared interest, for example an inter-regional line or service. For East Midlands Branch, due to the central nature of our region, working with other Branches is of particular importance. Active East Midlands Branch members who are additionally prepared to attend meetings of other Branches or Railfuture national events are highly valued. Our use of Railfuture's national brand brings with it a responsibility to be ambassadors for Railfuture and advocates for rail among the general public. We take a publicity stall to suitable events, and can offer speakers to other organisations. These activities offer roles to active members who feel more comfortable in such environments than with rail professionals or officialdom. If, however, you really feel you would prefer to focus on rail campaigning at a more local level, we hope you will still join Railfuture, if not already a member, but suggest you become actively involved instead with one of the groups listed below. Or start your own!
Local Rail User and Campaign GroupsFriends of Beeston Station are on Facebook.
Friends of the Derwent Valley Line, the current branch line between Derby and Matlock.
Harborough Rail Users
Friends of Hinckley Station
Campaign to Reopen the Ivanhoe Line (CRIL) (between Leicester and Burton-upon-Trent)
Kettering Rail Users: contact through us if necessary.
Manchester and East Midlands Rail Action Partnership (MEMRAP), campaigning to reopen the Peaks and Dales Line between Matlock and Buxton.
Friends of Narborough Station
Heritage RailwaysOnce upon a time, Railfuture distanced itself from heritage railways. Active Railfuture members tended to think of them at best as a harmless hobby to keep quiet about in Railfuture circles, at worst as a malign force, promoting an image of railways as a feature of the past and thereby obscuring their potential for the future. That has changed fundamentally. Now that reversing the Beeching cuts is all the rage, we can see many of these lost lines operating, at least in part, as preserved steam railways. We can see challenges ahead as the forces to reclaim them as national infrastructure collide with those to maintain them as an historical record. And we want to be in a positon to offer all the help we can in the interests of reconciling these forces optimally. We also recognise the valuable role heritage railways play in the education in railway operations of a generation (often referred to as 'Generation X') which grew up being taken everywhere by car, and as a recruiting ground for the national rail industry. These are the heritage railways in the East Midlands:
Ecclesbourne Valley Railway
Great Central Railway
Great Central Railway (Nottingham)
Follow us on TwitterEast Midlands Branch's Twitter handle is @RailfutureEMids.
Tweets by RailfutureEMids
ContactFor a chat about membership, call Roger Bacon, 0115 921 7814
Email enquiries to Steve Jones, Branch Secretary, eastmidlands at railfuture.org.uk
Media enquiries to Ariadne Tampion, Branch Chair, 01509 211468, ariadne.tampion at railfuture.org.uk
East Midlands Rail Issues in Pictures
A campaign success! This single-coach railcar service between Derby and Crewe has been replaced by two-coach railcars in the wake of our Inter-City Kitty campaign, which won our Branch Chair the inaugural Railfuture Campaigner of the Year Award in 2019. But there is plenty of scope for further improvements on this route.
This track through Coalville should be carrying passenger trains as well as the current freight traffic.
Shirebrook Junction: trains could be heading off here to serve Warsop, Edwinstowe and Ollerton.
Matlock Station: it would be good to catch a through service to Manchester from here.
A serious success! Loughborough Station now has the full length platforms which Railfuture was told for years were unviable, and an extra ladies' loo too!
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