Heart Of Wessex 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, the partnership has gradually transformed since 2003 into a wider community venture, with 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. Since 2003 use of the line has trebled, without any increase to the number of train services.