WEMYSS Bay has been crowned the UK’s best-loved station in the World Cup of Stations 2023.
The historic terminus triumphed in the final round of the contest after a week of hotly contested regional heats and semi-finals.
Station staff, volunteers, train operators and customers up and down the country have embraced the competition, with more than 70,000 votes cast.
Run during Community Rail Week, the event shines 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 great stations for local residents, the environment and the local economy.
During 16 head-to-head battles, 48 stations chosen by broadcaster and historian Tim Dunn were whittled down to the UK’s best-loved station.
Wemyss Bay, which attracted 8,403 votes in the final round, was praised for the great volunteers who have developed a vibrant and colourful community garden as well as opening a bookshop. Runners-up were Denmark Hill with 7,441 votes, and Leamington Spa with 3,271 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 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 a 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.”