Stations across the country are getting ready to 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 shine a spotlight on the work of dedicated volunteers that support our stations through Community Rail, and celebrating the benefits the railway brings to residents, the environment and the local economy.
Over 100 nominations from across Great Britain were whittled down to 48 by TV presenter and historian Tim Dunn to feature in the competition.
They now face each other in a series of highly anticipated head-to-head public votes. The 48 stations nominated are broken down into 11 regional groups, with a bonus group of four stations selected by Tim, with voting due to run 22-24 May.
The winner of each regional group will go through to the semi-finals on 25 May and the final held on 26 May when the winner will be crowned.
People can vote for their favourite via #WorldCupofStations at @RailDeliveryGrp on Twitter or at www.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 they serve. During Community Rail Week, we want to shine a light on the very best stations in England, Scotland and Wales.
“All of the stations nominated 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.
Stourbridge Junction in the West Midlands was named Britain’s favourite station after winning the World Cup of Stations in 2021.
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
The nominated stations are:
Regional group rounds listed above will be held 22-24 May, semi-finals 25 May culminating in the winner being crowned on 26 May.
- Monday 22nd May – London, South East, South West, East
- Tuesday 23rd May – East Midlands, West Midlands, North East, Yorkshire & Humberside
- Wednesday 24th May – North West, Scotland, Wales, Tim Dunn’s bonus group
Photo credit: Rail Delivery Group