Community Rail Network’s community rail support officer Daniel Wright gives updates on two community station buildings projects at Bishopstone and Shawford.
“Work is underway on the refurbishment of two community rail stations, where disused spaces are being transformed for the benefit of local communities. At Bishopstone, contractors are busy converting the old ticket office and adjacent retail unit into a community meeting room/event space. The Friends of Bishopstone Station have been developing this project for several years and it is exciting that work has finally started. One of the big challenges here is raising the level of the floor in the retail unit to match that of the old ticket office, which is a beautiful wooden parquet floor, being retained as part of the character of this Grade-II listed inter-war station. Funding for this project has come from several sources including Govia Thameslink Railway, Railway Heritage Trust, Community Rail Network and a crowdfunding appeal set up by the Friends.
“At Shawford, Hampshire Community Rail Partnership has developed a scheme to bring the long disused station building back to life. Builders are currently on site for this large-scale restoration project which will see the building transformed into a community café, meeting space, and bike hire point. The station sits on The Itchen Way long distance footpath, as well as National Cycle Network Route 23, and will be marketed as the perfect stop-off point for walkers or cyclists. Funding for this project has come from South Western Railway, CrossCountry Trains, Winchester City Council and the Railway Heritage Trust.
“Both projects are expected to be complete by summer 2022 and are examples of the continuing interest of community rail organisations in finding new uses for spaces that the rail industry has no operational use for, nor can find a commercial user.”