A NEW Community Rail Officer has been appointed by South West Wales Connected (SWWCo), a Community Rail Partnership set up to support the communities along the railway lines throughout Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Neath Port Talbot and Swansea.

Ashley Morgan joins SWWCo after a career focused on travel and customer relations; he previously worked in a customer facing role on ocean liners and prior to that he worked for Thomas Cook. He has also supported individuals as a mental health worker.

In his new role he will work to encourage the use of rail services through the increased participation of local communities in the network. He’ll also support a range of activities at and surrounding stations on the network, to provide economic, social, and environmental benefits to the region’s residents and visitors.

SWWCo Community Rail Officer Ashley Morgan said:

“I’ve always been keen on travel and tourism and the business aspects of these. When I saw this role advertised, it just called to me; it’s all about bringing communities together, incorporating travel and tourism and business, and that’s where my passion lies, so I was delighted to be appointed.

“The thing I’m most excited about is getting out into the communities. I’m born and bred in Baglan, Port Talbot and I know how important it is to understand the issues and needs in each community on the network, in order to know how best to support them. I can’t wait to meet with people and discover what they want from their railway.”

SWWCo is hosted by 4theRegion, a community interest company based in High Street Station, Swansea.

Dawn Lyle, Chair of 4theRegion, said:

“We’re thrilled to have recruited Ashley. He has a unique skillset built up in roles that encompass travel, tourism, business, and the support of individuals – and all of this comes together to make him perfectly suited for this role. We’re confident he will immerse himself in the communities on our network, getting to know the issues they face and enabling the rail network to provide better support to the people, communities and businesses it serves.

“We’ve already achieved a lot since SWWCo was founded in 2020, including providing funding for community initiatives, enhancing the railway stations on our network, organising forums for local businesses, and helping to promote those businesses. I can’t wait to see what Ashley enables SWWCo to achieve in the future.”