It consisted of like minded groups who recognised the need to increase revenue, reduce costs, increase community involvement and support social and economic development.
The Department for Transport became involved in the early 2000’s when it realised the importance of community rail and the Poacher Line was one of seven pilot partnerships to be trialled in 2006.
The movement has grown significantly and is now overseen by the Community Rail Network (CRN) who manages over 70 Community Rail Partnerships and over 1,000 station adoption groups and offers support and training, as well as organising the annual Community Rail Awards. The CRN also administer the Community Rail Development Fund and ensure accreditation of partnerships is completed on behalf of the Department for Transport.
CRN also manages and promotes the Scenic Rail Britain website which showcases all of Britain’s stunning community railways.
The Poacher Line received accreditation in 2020; this means that the partnership has met the Department for Transport’s standards for appropriate operation. The accreditation system for community rail partnerships in England and Wales commenced on April 2019.