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Railway libraries offer passengers a good read on long journeys

PUBLISHED: 07:17 21 April 2018 | UPDATED: 08:21 21 April 2018

The launch of Greater Anglia's railway library. Photo: Archant

The launch of Greater Anglia's railway library. Photo: Archant

Archant

When faced with a long train journey, it can often be tricky for commuters to think of how to pass the time.

The launch of Greater Anglia's railway library. Photo: Greater AngliaThe launch of Greater Anglia's railway library. Photo: Greater Anglia

But now a train company believes it has come up with the answer - by installing a mini library at railway stations for passengers to read during their journeys.

The idea was set up by the Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership (CRP) for people travelling between Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft with hope to expand to other lines in the future.

More than 300 books have been donated by members of the public and railway staff, with bookcases installed at the three stations as well as Reedham.

It is hoped that the new library collection will appeal to readers of all ages. It is also anticipated that the books will eventually travel across other railway lines in the region to reach more readers.

Paul Haynes, Greater Anglia’s community partnership manager, said: “With today’s hectic lifestyles, it can sometimes be difficult to find time to enjoy a good book.

“I’m sure this fantastic community rail initiative will be very popular, allowing people to pick up one for free while travelling with us.

“We have four hubs and there will be one book shelf at each station. The idea is that you pick up a copy, have a good read, maybe take a photo of the book and return it once you’ve finished with it or even put one of your own books on the book shelf.”

“I think it’s nice to have a good old read. All the books have stickers on them, so it gives them a sense of belonging. It’s nice for people not to be on their phones all the time and instead to get stuck into a book.

Rail travellers are welcome to borrow a book for their journey, and then return it to the bookcases of any of the participating stations.

Readers are encouraged to share a photo of them reading on social media with the hashtags #wherrylines and #railwaylibrary.

Maggie Tan, Community Rail Norfolk’s development officer, said: “It’s both fantastic and fitting to kick off this project at Norwich, a UNESCO City of Literature, which is also home to one of the busiest and most-loved public libraries in the country.”

Book donations will continue to be welcomed throughout the year by talking to staff on the station concourse.

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