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Craig David & Francis Bourgeois discuss all things ‘train’ in latest Trainline campaign

Mellissa Flowerdew-Clarke
Mellissa Flowerdew-Clarke
VP of Marketing, EMEA
5 min read
18 November 2022

I Came By Train

International digital rail and coach technology platform Trainline and DEPT® have launched the social campaign for Trainline’s Better Days (I Came By Train), featuring British singer-songwriter Craig David and the internet’s favourite trainspotter, Francis Bourgeois.

The release of the new song, marked the start of the brand’s I Came By Train movement, which raises awareness of the environmental benefits of rail and encourages pride in choosing to travel by train. Cars and planes create 58% of the UK’s transport CO2 emissions, whereas the entire rail network adds up to just 1.5%.

DEPT®’s multi-channel content delves into the meaning and inspiration behind the song, amplifying the campaign’s sustainability message across YouTube, Instagram and TikTok with the help of a number of chosen online content creators, to rally the  cry for UK travel – with the overall objective to encourage more journeys by train, irrespective of where they are booked or which train operator is taken.

Inspiring better choices for our planet

Jo McClintock, VP Brand, Trainline, said: “The change we need to tackle the climate emergency is only going to happen if businesses do their bit to help people take steps towards more sustainable lifestyles; changing the way we move is a key part of that transition – taking the train instead of driving creates 70% less CO2 on average. At Trainline, we think it is important to make train travel more attractive and grow the rail industry, getting more people to choose to travel by train more often – no matter where they are booking their journey. With I Came By Train our ambition is to inspire better choices for our planet and turn this phrase into a brag for when people reach their destination.”

When Francis Met Craig

The hero film, a 6.06’ behind-the-scenes interview between Craig David and Francis Bourgeois sees the pair meet in the carriage of a Class 108 DMU train, to talk about all things Better Days [I Came By Train]. Understanding the dual meaning behind the track, Craig discusses how the song is a love song, but that it also speaks of the work that we need to do to repair our relationship with our environment and how we must come together for the good of the planet. Accompanied by three 30’ cutdowns, that see Francis and Craig discuss their ‘Seven Better Days’, answering ‘Fast Track Questions’ and featuring highlights of their day together ‘When Francis Met Craig’. 

A relationship with Mother Earth

During the course of the hero film, Craig and Francis go behind the scenes of the animated Better Days [I Came By Train] music promo, created by advertising agency Mother London and the award-winning animation studio Golden Wolf at Stink, visiting the latter to discuss the inspiration behind the imagery and techniques used. The fantastical music video is a stylised animation, bringing the lyrics to life and features Craig David travelling by train through a series of landscapes – in turn raising awareness of climate emergency, which studies have shown is a vital step in encouraging behavioural change.

Craig David, British singer-songwriter, said “It’s a double meaning… on the one hand it’s a love song, recognising that you’ve got to put work into a relationship; early doors in the song, I talk about falling in love again… it’s like a moment where there’s been  a relationship that has gone on for a long time and you’re feeling the same feelings that you felt when you first met, the flip on it, which I love when people get it… it’s actually about having a relationship with Mother Earth. I’m really trying to get across that we’ve got to put in work together to make a difference”

The social content created by DEPT® furthers this, promoting the message across wider channels, and raising awareness through partnerships with influencers and content creators including ShxtsnGigs and Brooke Vincent.  

Bel Moretti, Creative Director, DEPT®, said Craig David and Francis Bourgeois on trains, favourite gigs, and protecting our planet is the unlikely chat we knew would get people talking. Two nationally-loved legends, albeit from different sides of the track, they’re the perfect pair to lead the movement towards more sustainable travel.”


Sasha Jackson / Lead Creative Planner
Sophie Lock / Creative Planner
Bel Moretti / Creative Director
Liam Thomas / Head of Design 
Junaid Ansar / Lead Motion Designer
Ralph Dennis / Junior Motion Designer 
Molly Patrick /Account Planner 
Melanie Hughes / Business Director 
Tara Oliver / Lead Senior Producer
Viridian Kerr / Production Executive
Rich Power Films / Production 
Charlotte Scorer / Head of Paid Social 

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VP of Marketing, EMEA

Mellissa Flowerdew-Clarke