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Visit signals further progress in station ‘twinning’ project

A ‘twinning’ project between stations in Tyneside and Cumbria has moved a further step forward after the two groups met for a second time to discuss and share ideas.

In July this year, Warren Birch, community rail officer with Community Rail Cumbria, travelled to Blaydon Station on the Tyne Valley Line as adopters there were keen to twin with another group to exchange ideas and progress their activities.

This initial meeting led to a return visit, which recently saw representatives from Blaydon Station and Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership (TVCRP) – including TVCRP officer Fiona Forsythe and Blaydon station adopter Joseph Codling – travel to Workington Station on the Cumbrian Coast Line.

The team were met by Warren, as well as Dave Wallace from the Friends of Workington Station, Alistair Grey, secretary of the Workington Transport Heritage Trust, and Cameron Bragg, manager of the station shop which raises funds for the trust.

The Tyne Valley delegation were particularly impressed by Workington Station’s structure, including its yellow Crewe bricks, and its recently refurbished waiting facilities and booking hall.

Although Workington is a much larger station than Blaydon, the group found many similarities between the two. They highlighted the shared local history of heavy industry, the fact that both stations serve commuters – Blaydon to/from Newcastle and Workington to/from Carlisle and Sellafield – and the same level of hourly service.

The two groups are planning a series of future visits to allow them to progress the project and continue to share their ideas and experience.

Fiona Forsythe said: “We would like to thank the Cumbrian Coast Line team for their hospitality and for an enjoyable day spent in Cumbria. I am really excited to see groups sharing ideas and seeing new things, and I know we brought back a long list of ideas from our visit to Workington.”