Wemyss Bay-2

Wemyss Bay is top of the stops and crowned the UK’s best loved station and World Cup of Stations champion 2023

After a week of hotly contested regional heats, sensational semis and a fantastic final, this year’s World Cup of Stations champion 2023, supported by the Rail Delivery Group and Community Rail Network, is Wemyss Bay station. 

Station staff, volunteers, train operators and customers up and down the country have embraced the competition, and over the course of five days, there has been fierce (but friendly) battles across 11 geographical regions in England, Scotland and Wales, with over 70,000 votes cast throughout the week. 

Run during Community Rail Week, the competition shone a spotlight on the variety of stations and the creative ways they are used, often with help from Community Rail volunteers who work tirelessly to improve our great stations for local residents, the environment and the local economy. 

During the 16 head-to-head battles, the 48 stations chosen by broadcaster and historian Tim Dunn were whittled down to the UK’s best loved station. 

The public has voted in its thousands with Wemyss Bay winning with 8403 votes in the final round.  

Wemyss Bay station managed by ScotRail, won for their great volunteers work in developing a vibrant and colourful community garden as well as opening the Station Bookshop. 

Worthy runners up were Denmark Hill with 7441 votes, and Leamington Spa with 3271 votes. 

Phil Campbell, ScotRail Head of Customer Operations, said: "I am absolutely thrilled to see Wemyss Bay station emerge victorious in the Rail Delivery Group's World Cup of Stations.   

“This well-deserved recognition is a testament to the exceptional efforts and unwavering commitment of everyone involved in maintaining and enhancing the station operation.  

“With its picturesque surroundings and architectural wonder, Wemyss Bay station truly is one of the best railway stations in the world.  

“We owe a huge thanks to everyone who voted for us, and to our social media colleagues who really got behind the Rail Delivery Group's campaign to drum up support.” 

Jacqueline Starr, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said: “The love and support of stations by communities across England, Scotland, and Wales is truly remarkable. 

“In this year’s competition we set out to celebrate the hard work of the thousands of volunteers who work tirelessly at their local station to make their communities better. 

“I think we have achieved that and as well as everyone who took the time to vote, I want to thank the volunteers, train operators and their staff for continuing to work to make rail a better experience for everyone. 

“I congratulate Wemyss Bay station for being the 2023 World Cup of Stations champion.” 

Tim Dunn, broadcaster and historian said: “Wemyss Bay station has amazed visitors ever since its 1903 rebuild, which resulted in a spectacular glass roof and sweeping walkways to minimise friction for ferry-bound crowds.  

“This vast waterside interchange needed a reason to survive now that holiday crowds go elsewhere: the Friends of Wemyss Bay created that reason.  

“With second-hand book shop, original posters on walls, and floral displays all year, their work - plus the efforts of the cafe staff, Scotrail and others - means that Wemyss Bay is truly community rail destination station.” 

Jools Townsend, chief executive of Community Rail Network said: “Community Rail Week is all about connecting communities and bringing people together, while supporting and enabling more people to travel sustainably by train and access the opportunities they want. Community rail has an inspiring track record of doing just that: promoting travel confidence and broadening mobility horizons, sometimes with life-changing effects, while giving communities a voice on transport, and putting railways and stations at the heart of community life. Well done to all the stations that were shortlisted and congratulations to this year's winner Wemyss Bay station.” 

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Notes to editors

Notes to editors 

  • Total votes across the competition: 72,215 
  • The Grand Final has had the most votes – 19,115. The group stage with the most votes was London with 7100 votes. 
  • RDG sent out 180 tweets with over 3,200,000 impressions.  
  • Many train companies have produced engaging video material e.g. Avanti West Coast and GTR and have gone over and beyond to encourage their passengers to take part in the competition by producing leaflets, social media content, station announcements etc.