It was on a freezing cold Saturday in November when the hardy volunteers of the Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership led by its Officer, Fiona Forsythe, set off for Carlisle with their stand for Community Rail in Carlisle.
This event was arranged by Katie Smith of VirginTrains (now Avanti) and Dawn McGough, Community Rail Manager. This year it was a two centre event both at the station and also in the city. Community Rail volunteers managed a stand in the midst of Carlisle Christmas markets, running a competition and telling everyone about events in the station.
Carlisle station was very busy due to cancellations on the WCML. There were lots of families who were told about the delights of the Tyne Valley line and Hadrian's Wall Country. Exhibitors at the station were TVCRP, S & C, Community Rail Cumbria, Lakes Line Rail Users Group, Cumbrian Coast Rail Users Group, Cumbria Pride, Royal British Legion, Direct Rail Services, Northern, and Story Rail. There was a selection of traders selling their wares, from local produce to crafts. Entertainment was provided by a School Choir and Border Concert Band. The main attraction was the llamas which caused a lot of interest.
Apart from the bitter cold, it was a good day. Lots of people were introduced to the attractions of the area and it is a big thank you to Virgin who were wonderful hosts.