Remember those posters that began to appear across the network last September? ‘Britain runs on dinner time’ and ‘Britain runs on great days out’ were just two of the messages used on billboards and in newspapers and magazines across the country as part of Britain Runs On Rail. You may even be wearing one of the colourful enamel badges.
Produced by the Rail Delivery Group, the industry body that represents all of the train operators and Network Rail, the next chapter of Britain Runs On Rail is set to reach a screen near you very soon. A brand-new TV advertisement, ‘Arrivals’, will launch in mid-March, accompanied by a series of posters and web content that raises awareness among the public of the improvements that are being made to the nation’s railway.
‘Our wish is to engage with the British public about how rail is ever more crucial to their everyday lives,’ says Edward Welsh, RDG’s communications director, ‘and explain the journey the industry is on to transform the experience of our customers, secure the future of those working in the business and maximise the benefits to the nation”.
Welsh adds, ‘This is the first time in many years the industry has come together to invest in raising public awareness on this scale. We want to explain that there is a capacity crunch and that’s why we are delivering a Railway Upgrade Plan of more than £50bn. We also need to show taxpayers and fare payers where their money is going and sustain the support of the public and private sector for continued investment in the railway.’
Train operators and Network Rail will let you know how you can best support Britain Runs On Rail – and RDG wants to encourage the whole industry to share the ad on social media and among friends and family from the Britain Runs on Rail Facebook page. The advertisements will also encourage people to search ‘runs on rail’, pointing to the improvements being made on the railway where you are.
ARRIVALS – THE DIRECTOR’S TAKE
The TV advertisement’s director, Neil Gorringe, explains why certain locations have been used for the filming of Arrivals – the first TV advertisement for the national railway in nearly 30 years:
‘Little corners and vistas of Britain, which at first appear empty, are magically brought to life by the sound of a passing train.
‘The people and things that appear remind us what role rail plays in our lives; a trip to the seaside, goods for purchase or the commute into work. These scenes unfold in a contemporary way.
‘The voiceover informs us that investments and improvements will be made to support the increasing demand.
‘Ultimately, this film will make you feel good about the railway.’
WHERE DID THAT LOGO COME FROM?
Everyone who works on the railway will be familiar with the famous ‘Double Arrow’ logo, and Britain Runs On Rail uses an eye-catching new version. There remains a huge amount of affection for the logo, with research showing that the British public still has a great affection for it, and an understanding of what it symbolises.
Famously designed for British Rail in 1965, and first sketched out on the back of an envelope by the lettering artist Gerry Barney, it has stood the test of time to become Britain Runs
On Rail’s identity, symbolising the unity of the rail companies working together.
WHAT IS THE RAIL DELIVERY GROUP?
The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) exists to enable rail companies to succeed in transforming and delivering a successful railway.
Up until last October, there were two organisations: the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and RDG. Since then, the single name of RDG has been adopted, meaning ATOC no longer exists. RDG has taken on all of the ATOC functions, including ticketing systems, National Rail Enquiries and Rail Staff Travel, as well as the schemes covering passenger train operations, engineering and major projects.
The RDG also provides the policy and communications functions representing the views of train operator owning groups, freight operators and Network Rail.