WCOS 1

Britons to vote for top railway station as World Cup of Stations 2020 gets underway

  • This week the British public will vote for their favourite railway station in the World Cup of Stations 2020 
  • 48 stations from across the country will compete head to head in the online poll   
  • Stations and staff have been playing a key role supporting Britain’s recovery from COVID-19 
  • Dark horse 2019 champions Huddersfield face stiff competition from newly redeveloped Glasgow Queen Street and pride of Wales, Cardiff Central. 

Communities across Britain are being urged to get behind their local railway station this week as towns and cities compete in an online poll to be crowned winner of the 2020 World Cup of Stations.  

With sports fans having been denied their usual fix during much of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Cup of Stations, returning for its second year, will give people the chance to cheer on their local station. 

The competition will see 48 stations large and small representing each region of the country competing in a series of online polls starting today. Regional and national heats are sure to stoke local rivalries. By Friday, the competition will have been whittled down to a final four with one of Britain’s 2,579 railway stations named the nation’s favourite on Friday evening. 

WCOS 2020 - Competition Structure Graphic

A Cinderella story unfolded last year when Huddersfield saw off competition from some of the country’s biggest and busiest stations, including local juggernaut Leeds. Following a spirited campaign fronted by the station’s Senior Pest Controller, Felix the Cat, they defeated Birmingham New Street, Bristol Temple Meads and Wemyss Bay in the final to be crowned 2019 champions 

Andy Croughan, Station Manager of Huddersfield station said, 

We were definitely outsiders last year but after a groundswell of support from fans and a firm paw from Felix we ran away with it. It was heartening to see how much the station means to the local community and while we’ll be in it to win it again this year, we know that as reigning champions we’ll have a target on our back.” 

WCOS 2019 - Andy Croughan and Felix

The competition comes as stations up and down the country welcome more people back to the railway supporting communities and local businesses as Britain emerges from the pandemic. Station staff are working hard to ensure stations can play their full role supporting Britain’s recovery from COVID, keeping people connected and boosting regional economies. 

Robert Nisbet, Director of Nations and Regions for the Rail Delivery Group said, 

The World Cup of Stations is about celebrating the thousands of stations across the country many of which have been at the heart of their communities for more than a century. It’s also about recognising the friendly local faces who have kept key workers moving throughout the pandemic. As Britain gets moving again, their role in supporting local businesses and spreading opportunity is more important than ever.” 

Persistent rumours that King’s Cross might miss this year’s tournament with engineering works were dispelled over the August Bank Holiday when Network Rail progressed the multimillion-pound upgrade of track in the area. This year’s contest will also see the debut of Glasgow Queen Street, fresh off a £64m refurbishment, and Crewe which makes its first appearance for Avanti since it’s transfer in December. Post-match analysis will take place at the conclusion of each day of voting led by a bevy of railway experts and station enthusiasts. 

Historian and presenter of UKTV’s “The Architecture The Railways Built” Tim Dunn said, 

“Station-fans, assemble: it’s time to do battle. Pick your station but pick it well – ‘cause this is a game of 48 sides and 200+ platforms, yet only one can return triumphant and take home that much-coveted trophy. Your local station squad needs you – so don’t stand silent in the sidings, get out of that waiting room and cheer loud on social media platforms. My tip for chuffing to the top of the championships is old-timer Glasgow Queen Street - back on the pitch with a new spring in its step for 2020." 

Contact Information

Niall McGourty

Senior Media Officer

Rail Delivery Group

020 7841 8020

niall.mcgourty@raildeliverygroup.com

Notes to editors

Notes 

  • Twitter polls will be hosted on the twitter page of the Rail Delivery Group - @RailDeliveryGrp 
  • The Rail Delivery Group represents the rail industry including train operating companies and Network Rail.  
  • The structure of the competition is explained in the diagram attached.
  • The full list of stations competing in World Cup of Stations 2020 is as follows: 

Station 

Region/ 

Nation 

Year opened 

Footfall 2018-19 

Station owner 

Bedford 

East 

1859 

4,058,190 

Govia Thameslink Railway (Thameslink) 

Cambridge 

East 

1845 

11,983,320 

Greater Anglia 

Kempston Hardwick 

East 

1905 

9,692 

West Midlands Trains (London Northwestern Railway) 

Welwyn Garden City 

East 

Current site 1926 

2,867,810 

Govia Thameslink Railway (Great Northern) 

Leicester  

East Midlands 

1840 

5,582,286 

East Midlands Railway 

Nottingham 

  

East Midlands 

1848 

8,004,938 

East Midlands Railway 

Bottesford 

East Midlands 

1850 

63,628 

East Midlands Railway 

Spalding  

East Midlands 

1848 

193,034 

East Midlands Railway 

Elmstead Woods  

London 

1904 

1,213,160 

Southeastern 

Falconwood  

London 

1936 

1,045,686 

Southeastern 

London Kings Cross 

London 

1852 

34,645,924 

Network Rail 

London Waterloo  

London 

1848 

94,192,690 

Network Rail 

Middlesbrough 

North East 

1847 

1,289,866 

TransPennine Express 

Newcastle  

North East 

1850 

8,913,554 

London North Eastern Railway 

Chathill  

North East 

1847 

2,546 

Northern  

Blaydon  

North East 

1835 

21,428 

Northern 

Ainsdale  

North West 

1848 

1,016,242 

Merseyrail 

Crewe  

North West 

1837 

3,305,352 

Avanti West Coast 

Hindley 

North West 

1848 

294,844 

Northern 

Wigan North Western  

North West 

1838 

1,683,184 

Avanti West Coast 

Chirk  

NRA Best Station winner 

1848 

77,106 

Transport for Wales Rail 

Norwich  

NRA Best Station winner 

1844 

4,250,834 

Greater Anglia 

Penrith  

NRA Best Station winner 

1846 

592,462 

Avanti West Coast 

Reading  

NRA Best Station winner 

1840 

17,080,738 

Network Rail 

Aberdeen  

Scotland 

1867 

2,616,142 

ScotRail 

Glasgow Queen Street  

Scotland 

1842 

17,207,208 

ScotRail 

Motherwell  

Scotland 

Current site 1885 

1,386,976 

ScotRail 

Wemyss Bay  

Scotland 

1865 

213,988 

ScotRail 

Aylesbury  

South East 

1863 

1,235,236 

Chiltern Railways 

Hedge End  

South East 

1990 

522,492 

South Western Railway 

Sandown 

South East 

1864 

150,748 

South Western Railway (Island Line) 

Sevenoaks 

South East 

1868 

4,376,024 

Southeastern 

Barnstaple  

South West 

1854 

432,196 

Great Western Railway 

Bristol Temple Meads  

South West 

1840 

11,367,652 

Network Rail 

Sherborne  

South West 

1860 

210,170 

South Western Railway 

Worcestershire Parkway  

South West 

2020 

n/a 

Great Western Railway 

Cardiff Central 

Wales 

1850 

12,934,304 

Transport for Wales Rail 

Newport  

Wales 

1850 

2,745,064 

Transport for Wales Rail 

Pontypridd  

Wales 

1840 

884,132 

Transport for Wales Rail 

Swansea  

Wales 

1850 

2156036 

Transport for Wales Rail 

Leamington Spa  

West Midlands 

1852 

2,773,782 

Chiltern Railway 

Stourbridge Junction  

West Midlands 

Current site 1901 

1,667,752 

West Midlands Trains (West Midlands Railway) 

Tamworth  

West Midlands 

1839 

1,279,204 

West Midlands Trains (London Northwestern Railway) 

Warwick Parkway  

West Midlands 

2000 

682,228 

Chiltern Railways 

Cleethorpes 

Yorkshire & The Humber 

1863 

296,002 

TransPennine Express 

Huddersfield  

Yorkshire & The Humber 

1847 

4,897,612 

TransPennine Express 

Hull  

Yorkshire & The Humber 

1847 

2,356,812 

TransPennine Express 

Mytholmroyd  

Yorkshire & The Humber 

1847 

197,640 

Northern