Track repairs under way at Stonehaven

The latest stage in extensive recovery and reinstatement works has begun following the Stonehaven derailment on August 12.

Our engineers are now relaying over 500 metres of track following the recent completion of work to repair the bridge and embankment damaged in the accident.

Work will continue into November as our teams remove and replace the damaged track and relay 400 metres of telecoms cables.

Teams have worked day and night over the past few weeks to complete repairs to 70 metres of bridge parapets and remove the crane pad built over the Carron Water for the recovery of the carriages in September.

A considerable amount of engineering work is also being carried out to repair and extend drainage systems on the railway track and lineside embankments at the site.

The 06:38 ScotRail Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street service derailed on August 12 after striking a landslip with the devastating loss of three lives – driver Brett McCullough, conductor Donald Dinnie and passenger Christopher Stuchbury.

Alex Hynes, managing director of Scotland’s Railway, said: “This is a very complex and challenging recovery and repair operation and it will take time for our engineers to fully restore the track and other infrastructure.

“While we will reopen the line for customers as soon as possible, our focus throughout the recovery process has been on making sure we do all we can to learn from this terrible accident and try to prevent similar incidents happening in the future.”

ScotRail is operating a shuttle service between Aberdeen and Stonehaven and between Dundee and Montrose to keep customers in the north east moving. A replacement bus service also remains in place between Dundee and Stonehaven, and between Dundee and Aberdeen.

Cross-border operators are also running replacement buses between Aberdeen and Edinburgh, with more information available at https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/service_disruptions/253790.aspx

After the incident on August 12, Network Rail introduced a range of additional safety measures.

As an immediate precaution, hundreds of sites nationwide with higher-risk trackside slopes, similar to Stonehaven, were inspected.

These inspections were carried out by both in-house engineers and specialist contractors, supplemented by helicopter surveys.

Network Rail has also launched two taskforces, led by independent experts, as part of its long-term response to climate change and the challenge of maintaining its massive portfolio of earthworks (embankments and cuttings), many of which date from the Victorian era.

Dame Julia Slingo FRS, former chief scientist at the Met Office and a world-renowned expert in climatology, is leading a weather action taskforce with the objective of better equipping Network Rail to understand the risk of rainfall to its infrastructure, drawing on the latest scientific developments in monitoring, real-time observations and weather forecasting.

Lord Robert Mair CBE FREng FRS is spearheading an earthworks management taskforce to see how Network Rail can improve the management of its earthworks portfolio, looking at past incidents, latest technologies and innovations and best practice from across the globe.

Network Rail already invests heavily in earthworks and drainage, and spending has increased significantly in recent years from £550m between 2009 and 2014 to a budget of £1.3bn for the period between 2019 and 2024.

Vital rail services protected through new deal with Arriva CrossCountry

  • Government signs new contract with Arriva to ensure train services continue across the UK’s most extensive rail network, from Aberdeen to Penzance
  • New contract takes CrossCountry in line with ERMA agreements, and brings stability to CrossCountry services for the future, providing certainty for passengers and staff
  • By building back better on this railway, passengers will benefit from an extra 20,000 seats per week, there will be more operational staff and a greater focus on more environmentally friendly services

Vital long-distance rail services that people the length of Great Britain rely upon will continue to run and support the UK’s recovery from COVID-19, thanks to a new contract signed between the Government and Arriva CrossCountry.  

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris has announced today (Friday, 16 October) that Arriva CrossCountry, which has run the service since 2007, will continue to operate the franchise for three more years until October 2023. This will provide certainty for passengers and staff as the future direction of rail reform takes shape.

As people return to the railway, passengers will benefit from increased capacity, and more train drivers and on-board staff to improve services and performance. This comes alongside new measures to help passengers with disabilities, including the ability to reserve space for assistance dogs and better staff training to meet the high standard, best practice seen across the rail industry.

The contract also has a renewed focus on tackling environmental impacts.  To reduce diesel emissions, Arriva CrossCountry will trial the use of electrical shore supplies when their Turbostar fleet are in depots for cleaning, which will reduce the use of diesel engines.

The Department will also continue to work with the owners of the Voyager trains to trial the use of on-train batteries when they enter and leave stations, so that engines are turned off when they’re at platforms further improving air quality.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said:

“This agreement ensures that vital train services will continue across the UK’s most extensive rail network, as the country continues to fight and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The deal announced today reaffirms our commitment to ending the complicated franchise system, and is focused on the best interests of passengers, delivering better services and helping create a new kind of railway.

“With a real focus on boosting capacity and seizing the opportunity to create more environmentally sustainable services, this new contract will benefit passengers in the long term, improving their experience when travelling on our railways.”

This new contract complements the Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements (ERMAs) announced in September, in place for up to 18 months, where the Government pays train companies a small management fee to keep services running through the pandemic.

The contract will see the Government take on the revenue and cost risk associated with the franchise and pay Arriva a performance-linked fee to run the service. This will incentivise the company to deliver improvements to operational performance, passenger experience and service quality.

Stretching from Aberdeen to Penzance and from Stansted Airport to Cardiff, CrossCountry’s network is the most geographically extensive passenger rail franchise in Britain. Calling at over 100 stations, it connects seven of Britain’s ten largest cities.

Govia Thameslink Railway is UK’s first rail operator to sign new homelessness charter

Homelessness in the UK is increasing year-on-year and has been heightened during the pandemic, with reports of rough sleepers up by 36%[1]. The issue is particularly prevalent on the railway, which is why the UK’s largest rail operator has signed a new charter to help safeguard vulnerable people and communities.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), is the first train operating company to put its name to the Rough Sleeping on Rail Charter, introduced by Network Rail. The charter is a first for the industry and forms part of a wide-reaching programme of collaborative efforts to support a route out of homelessness for every person sleeping rough around the rail network. It was signed by Chief Operating Officer Steve White, and witnessed by NOAH – a homeless organisation in Luton and a long-standing official charity partner for GTR.

Signing the new charter is another positive step from GTR, which is committed to helping the vulnerable communities it serves. Last year, GTR launched the ‘Great Sock Appeal’, which collected more than 4,000 pairs of socks for homeless shelters across its route. This year, in addition to signing the charter, GTR is rolling out e-learning to all colleagues to help them support homeless people.

Steve White, Chief Operating Officer at GTR said:: “Homelessness is a significant issue for society. As another winter approaches, I am proud to be signing the charter on behalf of Govia Thameslink Railway to support the ambition to break the cycle of homelessness and end rough sleeping for good. Our intention is to support the most vulnerable and collaborate with others to offer routes out of homelessness.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, added: “Every signature on the Rough Sleeping on Rail Charter moves us one step closer to our goal of ending rough sleeping in this Parliament. Everybody should have the safety, comfort and security of a home. For those sleeping rough in our railway stations, particularly as we approach winter, life can be cold, challenging and uncertain. It is hugely welcome that GTR has stepped forward to play their part in supporting the vulnerable people who sleep rough on our rail network.”

David Morris, Chief Executive of NOAH Enterprise, commented: “We have worked with GTR for a number of years and in this time have collaborated on various projects to help disadvantaged people in the local community. It’s great that the new training will educate staff about StreetLink, which is a key tool in helping someone begin their journey out of homelessness by connecting them with relevant services and outreach support. We applaud GTR for adopting the Charter at this early stage, and for committing to partner with NOAH’s new social enterprise Rainbow, through which more disadvantaged people will access jobs and training.”

Rachel Hopkins, MP for Luton, also commented: “I’m pleased to see GTR sign up to the Rough Sleeping on Rail Charter and commit to working to end homelessness. Equipping their staff with the skills to support those in need is vitally important. NOAH is an integral part of our community, and the commitment to the new Charter will enable them to continue working with GTR to help those who have nowhere else to turn.”

The Rough Sleeping on Rail Charter was announced by Network Rail on 7th October 2020. It focuses on educating staff and empowering them with the tools to support homeless individuals as well as homeless charities.

Hard working train cleaners celebrated in eye-catching campaign at Bournemouth station

From today (Thursday 15 October), visitors to Bournemouth station are being met with a series of new posters paying tribute to South Western Railway’s (SWR) heroic cleaning teams.

The Cleaner and Cleaner campaign, which is the result of a collaboration between SWR and strategic design consultancy DK&A, highlights the sterling work of the cleaners, who have worked harder than ever in recent months to keep customers safe.

One of the new eye-catching posters features one cleaner holding a broom, with the caption: ‘Welcome to Bournemouth. We keep cleaning so you can keep travelling’. Another simply says: ‘You keep handwashing, we’ll keep disinfecting’.

The campaign is not only intended to highlight the exceptional work of cleaning teams, but also provide customer reassurance and urge people to take some simple steps to protect themselves and others.  

SWR has radically increased its cleaning activity since the start of lockdown over six months ago, with cleaning teams now regularly using a powerful sanitising product which provides strong, long-lasting antimicrobial protection against a range of bacteria, viruses and pathogens.

Cleaners have also been paying particular attention to regular touch points such as ticket machines, grab handles, stair handrails and door buttons.

The campaign launch comes after DK&A conducted a wide-ranging research exercise which considered the views of a variety of internal and external stakeholders to gauge customer needs.

Alan Penlington, South Western Railway’s Director of Customer Experience, said:

“Since the outbreak of coronavirus, key workers from across the rail industry have gone above and beyond to help keep our customers safe. Integral to this work has been our heroic cleaning teams, who have worked night and day to dramatically enhance our cleaning regimes.

“It is entirely appropriate for Bournemouth station’s cleaners to be recognised in this striking way, and we want these posters to remind our customers that we are doing everything we can to keep our stations and trains as safe as possible.

“We need everyone to play their part in keeping our passengers and colleagues safe. We’re asking all of our customers to regularly wash their hands, keep their distance and wear a face covering unless exempt”.

David Kester, DK&A’s Managing Director, added:

“We were looking for ways to raise awareness of the new cleaning regime at SWR so that we might reassure customers and nudge practical actions that can keep us all safe to travel.  The inspiration came directly from front-line staff at Bournemouth who helped us shape the concept.”

Network Rail to refine resilience plans for vital stretch of Devon railway

Plans to improve resilience along a vital 1.8km stretch of railway in the south west will be refined by Network Rail following substantial feedback from the community, passengers and businesses.

More than 1,600 people responded to a six-week public consultation on proposals for the line between Parson’s Tunnel and Teignmouth in Devon, which is bordered by steep cliffs on one side and the sea on the other.

The plans would see the track realigned to create space to stabilise the hazardous cliffs and protect the railway for future generations. A realigned coastal footpath would also be built, along with a new landward path and accessible footbridge across the railway.

Earlier this year, a second round of consultation on the proposals saw more than 2,840 people attend 11 community events at which a 10m-long scale model of the scheme was on display. Since the first round of consultation in 2019, the plans had been revised to retain more of the beach and improve leisure access.

Key findings from the 2020 consultation include:

  • 73 per cent of people agreed/strongly agreed that this stretch of railway needs to be more resilient, with 13 per cent disagreeing/strongly disagreeing and 14 per cent undecided.
  • 41 per cent of people agree/strongly agree with Network’s Rails proposals for improved resilience, with 51 per cent disagreeing/strongly disagreeing and eight per cent undecided.
  • More than half (54 per cent) of people supported or strongly supported the creation of a new coastal path and amenity
  • The 2020 consultation saw an increase of more than 1,200 attendees and 1,100 responses from the 2019 events

Network Rail now plans to refine the proposals after analysing the 1,605 responses from the second round. The consultation asked people to provide further comments on the plans and/or give feedback on how they could be improved.

More than 2,100 comments were received on issues ranging from the construction timeline and impact on the environment to loss of heritage features and effect on the local economy.

Mike Gallop, Network Rail’s director for the Western route, said: “We would like to thank everyone who responded – we have read and reviewed every single comment. We received some good and considered feedback which can positively influence our plans, and it is important that we get this significant scheme right.

“As a result of the feedback we are now refining the plans even further with a view to then sharing these revisions with the public next year. We’ll now spend the next few months working through this detail, once we have our refined plans we will schedule a further round of public consultation in 2021.

“This means that we won’t be applying for a Transport and Works Act order to seek consent for the scheme this year as we had previously indicated in early communications. We will only proceed to this stage when we’ve done this further work and engagement.”

A summary of the consultation outcomes, along with the comments submitted, can be viewed online at networkrail.co.uk/Teignmouth.

Network Rail will also be writing to 16,000 households within the consultation boundary, with a summary of the findings

West Coast main line protected as Cumbrian river restored back to its original course

Rail passengers and wildlife are being protected by major work to restore a river which runs next to the West Coast main line in Cumbria.

Network Rail is working with the Eden Rivers Trust, Environment Agency, Natural England and landowners to return the River Leith near Thrimby back to its natural course and make the West Coast main line more reliable for passengers and freight.

Because the river was historically straightened it doesn’t provide good conditions for wildlife to thrive or help protect the surrounding land or buildings from flooding. It also put the railway it bordered at risk from erosion.

The River Thrimby flows at the foot of the embankment of Europe’s busiest mixed-used passenger and freight railway lines.

Forty-six passenger trains and seven freight trains go past every 24 hours – carrying up to 18,500 tonnes of medical supplies, bananas, pasta, loo roll and other essentials over the England-Scotland border. People depend on this service to run all year round without interruption.

Work has begun to cut a new 1km meandering or ‘wiggling’ river channel that flows away from the railway line. The new river will be 33% longer than the previously straightened river.

Rory Kingdon, senior sponsor at Network Rail, said: “Restoring the river at Thrimby to its natural course not only benefits the environment, but it also protects the track from flooding, making the West Coast main line more reliable for passengers and freight.

“Pooling resources with Eden Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency to make the railway more resilient to climate change is a win-win for wildlife, passengers and freight users.”

Lev Dahl, river restoration manager from Eden Rivers Trust, said: “This is a really exciting project that is going to provide a huge range of benefits – increasing habitat, protecting the railway and reducing flood risk. As the project matures, it will also provide homes for a range of birds and mammal species.  All of these benefits are set within a working sheep and beef farm and provides a great example of how food production, nature conservation and the transport sector can work hand in hand.”

Olly Southgate, Cumbria river restoration programme manager at the Environment Agency, said: “The Thrimby River Restoration project is great example of how we can make a real difference on a large scale for both people and the environment by working in partnership with other organisations.

“Delivering river restoration work can provide a vast array of benefits not only for ecology, fish and biodiversity but also for contributing to natural flood management. This makes a real difference to people’s lives and to communities as a whole. The Environment Agency in the North West is pleased to be involved in this project and looks forward to its completion and the benefits this will bring.”

This major partnership project is being delivered as part of the award-winning Cumbria River Restoration Programme, which is one of the biggest and most successful restoration programmes in the UK.

It is one of many being delivered across Cumbria, which aims to safeguard our protected areas, protect downstream communities, as well boost diversity and create a more diverse range of habitats for fish to thrive.

Find out more about this project and other river restoration work at www.edenriverstrust.org,uk

VIDEO: Network Rail warning after High Speed train almost hits cyclist near Canterbury

Network Rail has issued a warning to level-crossing users after a High Speed train almost hit a cyclist near Canterbury.

The Southeastern High Speed train was running at around 80mph as it approached the foot crossing which links Ashford Road in Chartham with the wetland open space on the other side of the line.

The incident happened at about 7.50am with the train on its journey from Margate to St Pancras at the Dog Kennel foot crossing.

The train driver sounded his horn as the male on a bike went across the crossing causing the driver to apply his emergency brake and come to a stand beyond the crossing.

It follows two similar incidents in August involving walkers near Sevenoaks in Kent.  Although such incidents have been falling in number in recent years, there were 323 near-misses with non-vehicle users last year at level crossings and there were two fatalities.  

Increasing numbers of level crossings do have safety features such as warning lights or automatically emit a train horn noise. However many still rely on users taking time to ‘Stop, Look and Listen’. Trains will also sound their horns.

Fiona Taylor, Network Rail’s Route Director for Kent, said: “This shocking incident near Canterbury is part of a small but concerning rise in such incidents in recent months and the impact had the train hit this cyclist could have been devastating to all involved. We all want to enjoy the outdoors but I’d ask people to be vigilant when they are anywhere near the railway and always to Stop, Look and Listen before they cross.”

Jim Maxwell, Head of Drivers for Southeastern, added: “Our drivers don’t deserve the extra stress that these types of incidents cause.

“Reckless trespass incidents can have a profound effect on our drivers’ mental health, and are further compounded if the driver has been unfortunate enough to have been previously involved in a fatality, with the potential to cause flashbacks.

“It often means that the drivers have to take time off whilst they recover, and are supported through their ordeal.

“I fully support our colleagues at Network Rail and the British Transport Police in trying to identify and pursue the culprits.”

Captain Sir Tom Moore presented with first Veterans’ Railcard

Military veterans of every generation will soon benefit from cut-price rail travel, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced today, as he presented Captain Sir Tom Moore with the very first Veteran Railcard.

Aimed at supporting veterans’ post-service, the newly unveiled Railcard will provide up to a third off all peak and off-peak fares, as well as discounted travel for adult companions and children. It forms part of the Government’s commitment to make this country the best place to be a veteran, helping repay the debt we all owe to those who have served.

At his home in Bedfordshire Captain Tom Moore, who served in World War II and won the nation’s hearts with his incredible fundraising efforts, was presented with the very first card.

The card pays tribute to the Royal Navy, RAF and Army, using the colours featured on the Veterans flag. An estimated 830,000 veterans, who are not eligible for existing railcards, will now be able to get up to a third off rail travel from 5 November 2020.

The new card will be on sale at an introductory price of just £21 until 31st March 2021.

Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, said:

“We have an eternal debt of honour to those who have served our country, and this railcard is part of marking our gratitude. For veterans looking to re-enter the world of work and connect with friends and family, it will cut the cost of travel to open up new opportunities. Delivering this Manifesto promise will improve lives for veterans and their families across the United Kingdom.

“I am also delighted to present Sir Captain Tom Moore with the very first railcard. Through his service and his inspirational fundraising, he has shown the selflessness and indomitable spirit of all those who have served.”

Captain Sir Tom Moore, Captain Tom Foundation, said:

“This is a wonderful occasion to accept the first Veterans rail card.

“It is a rare opportunity to show thanks and gratitude to Veterans and this rail card is a necessary recognition and investment in Veterans, giving them the ability to re-connect and combat loneliness, something that we promote and support at The Captain Tom Foundation.”

The Rail Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris also visited the Building Heroes centre in Wandsworth, to meet with veterans undergoing a 6-week training course in building and construction.  

Targeted at teaching veterans’ new skills and tackling unemployment by delivering a seamless transition into a career in the construction industry, Mr Heaton Harris discussed how the railcard would support re-entering civilian life after service.

Minister for Defence People and Veterans Johnny Mercer said: 

“Providing discounted rail travel is a fantastic way to underline the debt of gratitude we owe to those who have served.

“For younger veterans, it will also help boost employment prospects, allowing more flexibility in their travel to work or job interviews.”

Charles Byrne, Director General of The Royal British Legion said:

“Every day our Armed Forces community provide an incredible service in so many ways and it’s right their unique contribution is recognised.

“We welcome the introduction of measures such as the new Veterans Rail Card that will allow veterans and their families to enjoy discounted rail fares.

“At a time when many veterans are facing significant financial hardship, we hope as many as possible will be able to enjoy the benefits this card will bring when travelling by train.”

Help for Heroes CEO, Melanie Waters said:

“We are pleased that the Government will make good on its promise to introduce a railcard for veterans and extend discounted train travel to former service personnel in England.

“The pandemic is having a lasting impact on veterans and their families both financially and socially, and its introduction will come at a welcome time.” 

Safe storage for Stephenson statue during Euston’s HS2 transformation

A Grade-II listed statue of railway pioneer Robert Stephenson has been removed and put into safe storage while Euston station undergoes its major HS2 redevelopment.

The 150-year-old bronze monument to Robert, the son of ‘father of the railways’ George Stephenson, came to Euston in 1871 and has stood in pride of place in its current location since 2008.

Now the listed sculpture of the 19th century civil engineer is being taken down and protected while the railway evolves for the 21st century.

But it’s not the first time the statue has taken a break from welcoming passengers to London – the monument has been relocated a number of times since the Victorian station was demolished in the 1960s and Euston rebuilt as we know it today.

Joe Hendry, station manager at Euston station, said: “We will miss having the statue at the station – so it’s absolutely vital that this tremendous part of railway history benefits from best-in-class protection. It’s been a great team effort to plan this work as part of the wider HS2 redevelopment. It means Robert Stephenson, who was involved with the development of the first Euston station, continues to be part of the station’s story”.

Among his many achievements, Robert Stephenson developed the London and Birmingham Railway which opened in 1838.

It was the first intercity railway into London and sparked the “railway mania” of the mid-nineteenth century.

Costain Skanska (CSJV) working on behalf of HS2 Ltd and Network Rail gained special planning permission from Camden Council to carry out the statue relocation.

CSJV and Network Rail also worked with the Railway Heritage Trust and Historic England to ensure all conservation guidelines were followed before, during and after the statue’s removal.

Laurence Whitbourn, Euston area director for HS2 Ltd, said: “As we build Britain’s new high-speed railway, we are continuing Robert Stephenson’s work and improving Britain’s rail network for years to come. We are grateful to Network Rail for being  the custodians of the statue for many years, and CSJV for managing its removal with such sensitivity, and I look forward to having the statue back at Euston in pride of place in the new HS2 station”.

Caroline Raynor, lead archaeologist at Costain-Skanska JV, said: “Robert Stephenson played a hugely significant part in the development of the railway in the 19th century. Costain-Skanska JV are proud to be part of the team who are protecting this Grade II Listed statue so that it can be reinstated to watch over future generations of rail travellers as they make their way through Euston. Amongst the team he has become something of a favourite and a heritage celebrity – our engineering mascot as part of a huge railway engineering project.”

Andy Savage, executive director of the Railway Heritage Trust, said: “The Railway Heritage Trust understands and supports the statue’s temporary removal from the site.  HS2 Ltd has consulted us several times, over the principle of its removal, the method of doing it, and how it will be stored. In our view they have been totally professional about this.  We look forward to the return of the statue, which we would hope can be reinstated in its original position between the two Euston Road Lodges. HS2’s works make this option possible for the first time in 60 years.”

As the redevelopment of Euston continues, steps are being taken to safeguard the station’s other heritage assets including the plaques commemorating Victoria Cross recipients.

Isle of Wight’s Sandown makes shortlist in public vote to find Britain’s favourite railway station

The people of the Isle of Wight are being urged to get behind Sandown this week as it competes in an online poll to be crowned winner of the 2020 World Cup of Stations.

The World Cup of Stations, returning for its second year, will give the people on the Island a chance to cheer on their local station as it competes in the top-flight of social media polling. The competition comes as stations up and down the country welcome more people back to the railway supporting communities and local businesses as Britain continues to learn to live with COVID-19.

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 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.

A Cinderella story unfolded last year when Huddersfield saw off competition from some of the country’s biggest and busiest stations, including nearby juggernaut Leeds. Sandown will look to repeat the giant-killing trick this year as they start out in the regional group stages.

Sandown begins the competition in the South East group with SWR station Hedge End, along with Aylesbury and Sevenoaks.

The Isle of Wight Community Rail Partnership (CRP) and the Gaslight Café have been an inspiration to the Island’s community. As stories emerged of some people on the Island struggling to cope financially and to put food on the table, the partnership agreed with SWR to help fund Food on the Move. This brilliant initiative has prevented many vulnerable people going hungry during the current COVID-19 crisis.

Tony King, South Western Railway’s Flagship Station Manager for the Island, said:

“We can go far and we could even have the competition sewn up, with the support of our fans. It’s all to play for this year we just need to make sure that everything is left on the pitch.

“It’s been a tough year, and Sandown has been the focal point for many who’ve needed help during this crisis. Uniquely, the station has played a key role in keeping the local vulnerable people fed, with station staff and the local CRP really going above and beyond. These community champions richly deserve some recognition for their efforts.”

“We’re small but mighty, so let’s make the Island proud and win this competition!”

Robert Nisbet, Director of Nations and Regions for the Rail Delivery Group, which is organising the competition 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.”

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.”