Empty Spaces in Railway Stations

As I travel the country I see increasing evidence of empty spaces in stations which are not being filled. I believe these could be put to community use, and help to turn stations into more thriving entities as well as making rail travel a more pleasant experience.

I have created a Flickr group to collect evidence about these empty spaces. Please take a photo of the empty space and upload it here with the name of the station. If possible, please photograph any “to let” boards with information on how we might contact the agent.

8 thoughts on “Empty Spaces in Railway Stations

  1. I’d really like to see more examples like the one at Great Malvern station being established. A venue i’ve used a few times for meetings and training.

    The Training Station is run by Community First and based in a set of rooms on Platform 1 of Great Malvern station, it has IT facilities, meeting rooms and a lounge area. Next door is a (separate) community run station buffet. More info.

    Its a great example of what you have described where empty spaces in stations have been put to great use for the community and also to generate revenue through meetings, training and sales in the cafe.

    There must be more like this out there? If not there should be!

    • I seem to remember there being something at Menston station in West Yorkshire. And, I know the Settle-Carlisle railway has some interesting stuff at some of its stations (the photo above was taken from the platform at Kirkby Stephen station).

    • Have you seen Whistlestop Stores at Gt. Malvern Station? A not for profit craft supplies shop and training base let through the Community Stations Initiative. See http://www.acorp.uk.com ALSO call at Worcester Foregate Street and visit MOVEMENT the modern art gallery converted from the gents’ lavatories on platform 2.

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  3. I am Project Officer for the Community Stations Initiative which enables community and not-for-profit use of empty station premises which are no longer needed by the rail industry and deemed to have no commercial value.

    Working closely with communities, Network Rail and Train Operating Companies, this initiative has been accepted as national policy and many stations have benefited from new community use through a specially formulated lease and peppercorn rents . Details can be found on http://www.acorp.uk.com.

    Always good to share a good idea.

    ACoRP – The Association of Community Rail Partnerships.

    • Thanks Susan. And it looks like I’ve just missed your Big Society conference. I hope that went well.

      As I said in the post, I’ve been taking note of some of the empty spaces in stations and putting photos of some of them here http://www.flickr.com/groups/1472161@N20/ Some of these spaces have been empty for the best part of a year to my knowledge. Is there a central railway property portfolio, or do they all belong to separate rail companies? We could do so much good if these properties were opened up.

  4. There are good examples but in response to Jon’s point, no, there isn’t a central data bank with details of railway properties. Many station buildings are in the lease of the train operator, some are managed directly by Network Rail.

    But there are plenty good examples, e.g. Chester-le-Street (travel agents), Northwich (cafe, learning centre), Egton (nursery) etc. Sue is best person to direct you.

    When you do see some empty rooms/buildings the best bet is to contact whoever the train operator is, in the first instance. Usually it’s the estates people.

    cheers

    Paul Salveson (Railway Doctor)

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