Monday, 29 June 2015

Leading rail partnership adopts Masterclass idea

A ground-breaking idea conceived at our recent Citizens' Rail Masterclass has been implemented by the UK rail industry.

The two-day workshop, hosted at UCLan earlier this year, brought together students from German, Dutch and UK universities to develop fresh ideas about promoting local and regional railways.

Citizens' Rail partners chose to focus on marketing campaigns for the Masterclass, as these are often simpler and quicker to implement than other rail projects.

The students came up with the idea of promoting leisure trips on local and regional lines using the Wi-Fi connection screens on mainline trains. The idea was swiftly adopted by Citizens' Rail's lead partner, the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership.

Alongside its work within the European project, the Partnership was in the middle of planning a separate campaign to promote Cornwall's scenic branch lines and destinations. The campaign harnessed the popularity of the TV series Poldark which had prominently featured Cornwall's beautiful coast, countryside and mining heritage during its recent run on BBC1.

The Partnership developed a theme of 'Visit Poldark country by train' and in addition to hosting a promotional event at London Paddington, they created a mini-website showing how to visit filming locations from the programme by rail.

Train operator First Great Western subsequently agreed to promote the campaign. Now, when passengers connect to Wi-Fi, they are greeted with the 'Visit Poldark country by train' message. First Great Western's homepage also features a prominent link to the Partnership's campaign website.

The Wi-Fi promotion will continue to run until the later this summer, helping to promote First Great Western's branch lines to users of other parts of its network.

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