The scenic railway from Bristol to Weymouth

The Rail Partnership

The Heart of Wessex Rail Partnership is a twenty year old joint venture between seven local authorities and the train operator, currently Great Western Railway (formerly First Great Western).  The core objective of the partnership is to increase awareness and use of the Bristol to Weymouth services, in turn contributing to economic growth, carbon reduction and other key priorities for local authority partners. In addition to marketing the line and the destinations it serves, from 2003 the partnership gradually transformed into a wider community venture, encouraging participation from local groups, organisations and businesses, and most importantly a growing army of volunteers who generously give over 13,000 hours of their personal time each year to enhancing stations, promoting the railway in their local communities, improving links to stations and designing and leading guided walks. From 2003 to 2016 use of the line trebled, without any increase to the number of train services.