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Lowestoft train station one step closer to being crowned UK’s best-loved in World Cup of Stations competition

Lowestoft train station is one step closer to being named the UK’s best-loved as it makes it through to the semi-finals of the ‘World Cup of Stations’ competition.

The contest celebrates the work of community groups and station adopters in working with train operators to improve their stations for the benefit of travellers, and public votes could now help Lowestoft station to get to the final on Friday.

The station, run by Greater Anglia, benefits from the work of the Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership and the Lowestoft Central Project.

Evacuee event taking place in the restored Parcels Office at Lowestoft rail station. Credit: Lowestoft Central Project
Evacuee event taking place in the restored Parcels Office at Lowestoft rail station. Credit: Lowestoft Central Project

Martin Halliday, Wherry Lines Community Rail development officer, said,“We are thrilled that Lowestoft Station has won the regional heat for this year’s World Cup of Stations competition and on Thursday May 25, we would love it if everyone could please vote to get us through the semi-finals and beyond.

“Winning the regional heat is fantastic recognition for our hard-working volunteers, community rail partnership teams and colleagues at Greater Anglia and Network Rail.

“Thanks to them, in recent years the station has undergone a renaissance and become an important community hub,” he added.

People can vote for Lowestoft via #WorldCupofStations or @RailDeliveryGrp on Twitter or at www.raildeliverygroup.com/uk-rail-industry/campaigns/world-cup-of-stations.html.

Lowestoft has seen the development of a community hub, complete with a multi-purpose room that can be used for exhibitions or meetings, in the original station building by three local volunteer station adopters (working as the Lowestoft Central Project) and the Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership, supported by Greater Anglia.

Work included installing a heritage livery, replacing 1980s lamps with low energy lighting housed in Victorian style casement lamps, and reinstating doorways that had been closed for half a century.

Events like craft fairs, meetings and lectures are now held in the community space and it plays host to many local organisations including the town’s Business Improvement District, transport user groups and community rail partnerships.

It even hosted a weekly warm room initiative during the winter months.

Each year former wartime evacuees are reunited at the station and during 2022 the station hosted confidence to travel visits for refugee families, school children and members of the local community and a special ‘try a train’ event highlighting the accessible features on the region’s new fleet.

More than 100 nominations were received for this year's ‘World Cup of Stations’ competition, recognising the efforts of so many across the country in categories such as creating social spaces, supporting local businesses and tourism stations.