Stations battle it out to be pride of the South West and the region’s champion in the World Cup of Stations
- This week the public can vote for their favourite railway station in the World Cup of Stations 2023
- TV presenter Tim Dunn chose the 48 stations from across Britain and they compete in a series of online public votes and you can take part via #WorldCupofStations or @RailDeliveryGrp on twitter or vote online at raildeliverygroup.com/WorldCupOfStations
- The South West is one of four regions to battle it out on Monday 22 May in a bid to reach the final on Friday 26 May and be crowned the champion
- The tournament seeks to showcase community rail and the benefits the railways bring to residents, the environment and the local economy.
Four train stations across the South West will battle it out for a place in the final to be crowned ‘The UK’s best loved station’ and winner of World Cup of Stations 2023, the competition hosted by the Rail Delivery Group in partnership with the Community Rail Network.
This year’s competition takes place during Community Rail Week (22-26 May) to showcase community rail and the benefits railways bring to residents, the environment and the local economy.
The four stations in the South West region that are managed by Great Western Railway (GWR) are:
- Liskeard, Cornwall has been nominated as The Heritage Centre includes the original ticket office and waiting area, telling the story of how things worked before computers were used.
- Yatton. Somerset has been nominated for their community cafe and cycle project, both of which aim to be as sustainable as possible. The cycle project is working with @GWR on their Bikes for Refugees appeal.
- Okehampton, Devon has been fully restored, with vintage signage, walls and original features making visitors feel like they could be in the 1950s. The station features a welcoming waiting room, shop and cafe.
- Penmere, Cornwall has been nominated as for 30 years, volunteers here have worked to improve the station, including installing replica 'Penmere Platform' running-in boards, numerous benches, noticeboards and planters.
Over 100 nominations were whittled down to 48 by TV presenter Tim Dunn in the competition that was last held in 2019. They now face each other in a series of mini-battles to be crowned World Cup of Stations champion 2023.
Each of the nominees are from one of 11 regions, with four bonus stations selected by Tim.
The stations from the South West will face stiff competition from stations in the East, South East and London regions. The station with the most votes from each of the groups will head to the semi-final on 25 May, culminating in the final on 26 May when this year’s winner will be crowned.
People can vote for their favourite South West station on Monday 22 May via #WorldCupofStations or raildeliverygroup.com/WorldCupOfStations
Jacqueline Starr, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said: “Day in, day out stations up and down the country are proving to be at the very heart of the communities and this year during Community Rail Week, we want to shine a light on the very best stations in England, Scotland and Wales.
“All of the stations are making a positive impact on their local community, whether that’s supporting local businesses, being used for a social space or making the local environment better by being more sustainable, whatever they’re doing to make a difference, we want to celebrate.”
Tim Dunn, TV presenter and shortlist judge, said: “I had the tricky task of selecting the shortlist of 48 stations - tricky, because it represents the work of 48 groups of chuffing ace volunteers.
“The time, energy and love each group gives is because of a love of our shared railway and their communities too. It might seem bonkers, but this competition showcases the hard work of hundreds countrywide, then amplifies and celebrates all in community rail. Remember: like a football World Cup, the winners each day need more and more support - in every battle, it's the one with the most votes who wins!”
Jools Townsend, chief executive of Community Rail Network, said: “Community Rail partnerships and thousands of ‘station friends’ volunteers the length and breadth of Britain are mobilising en masse, engaging local people and partners to raise awareness about sustainable travel by rail, and get people enthused about its many benefits.”
Over 1,200 stations across Britain are supported by station adoption groups, made up entirely of volunteers, that help to make stations welcoming and safe, bring people together and add value to their communities.
Often the work of these groups extends beyond basic upkeep, incorporating community gardening and food growing, local arts projects, and workshops and visits with children and young people.
We received more than 100 nominations for stations to feature in this year's competition, recognising the efforts of so many across the country in the following categories:
- Creating social spaces – stations rejuvenated by local adoption groups who are creating spaces for the local community
- Supporting local business – adoption groups using station spaces to host and celebrate local businesses
- Education stations – educational spaces and workshops arranged by adoption groups held in their station
- Tourism stations – adoption groups using their station to promote local attractions
Sustainable stations – environmental efforts by local community groups to improve their station’s green credentials
Media Relations Manager
Rail Delivery Group