CRL - Community Rail Lancashire

Over 2000 Students Feeling Good

Christmas cheer as Feel Good Field Trip initiative reaches 2000 students.

Avanti West Coast, is delighted to have reached a significant achievement as their ‘Feel Good Field Trips’ initiative reaches an impressive milestone, benefiting 2000 children in 2023. This two-year programme, tailored for schools with a high number of disadvantaged students, has successfully provided free, fun, and educational field trips along the iconic West Coast Main Line.

Led by the dedicated Community Rail Officer David Savage from Community Rail Lancashire, the initiative has orchestrated over 80 trips, encompassing nearly 200 train journeys. Students aged 4-18 have had the unique opportunity to explore diverse destinations along the West Coast Main Line, fostering not only the joy of travel but also gaining invaluable educational insights.

David Savage, the driving force behind the initiative, expressed his delight at reaching the 2000th student milestone: “I am delighted to have taken out the 2000th student on a Feel Good Field Trip. Many of these children have experienced traveling by train for the first time, allowing children to broaden their horizons by visiting new destinations. The project has had a positive impact on so many children. As a former Geography teacher, I am aware of the cost and time it takes to plan field trips. These trips are planned for the school and also help with school budgets.”

The 2000th student mark was achieved on November 29th when 60 pupils travelled by train to Lancaster to watch ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the Dukes Theatre. The day included a drama workshop, lunch, and the enjoyment of the fantastic show in the afternoon. The children all received a rail safety briefing by Community Rail Staff at the station, an activity booklet and a copy of ‘Arlo’s Adventures’ rail safety book.

Carl Woodward, Head of Creative Communities at the theatre, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration: “The Dukes is very excited about this new collaboration with AVANTI’s Feel Good Field Trips and hopes it’s the beginning of many in our region. School theatre trips are the life force of our theatre and vital for our industry. We are thrilled Community Rail Lancashire can enable this experience of live theatre and provide a welcome release from the pressures young people in the most disadvantaged communities.”

Other memorable trips in the initiative have included recording and producing music at a studio in London, outdoor cooking in the Lake District, Mersey Ferry trips in Liverpool, and learning how to cook a curry at a cookery school near Manchester.

The ‘Feel Good Field Trips’ project will continue to run throughout 2024, providing invaluable experiences for more children. The project is supported by many other Community Rail Partnerships across the country.

For further information, please contact Community Rail Lancashire on