Stourbridge and Wolverhampton qualify for World Cup of Stations competition

Stourbridge Junction and Wolverhampton are two of the 48 qualifiers in a major competition which sees them bidding to gain the title of the World Cup of Stations.

Stourbridge Junction station manager Simone Carter at Stourbridge Junction station with George the cat
Stourbridge Junction station manager Simone Carter at Stourbridge Junction station with George the cat

People up and down Britain have been invited to vote for their favourite railway stations this week and both Stourbridge Junction and Wolverhampton are among those qualifying for the Twitter poll.

Acocks Green, Coventry, Great Malvern, and Stoke-on-Trent are also among the West Midlands qualifiers.

Now in its third year, the annual tournament is this year focusing on those stations that have played a vital role in supporting their local economy recover from the pandemic by getting people back to doing the things they love, whether that is going on holiday, visiting museums and galleries or dining out.

More than 1,200 nominations for 250 stations were received and now the 48 qualifiers go into the 12-group play-offs.

Each group of four is categorised by what the stations and local area are well-known for, such as being the gateway for adventure, culture, history or nights out.

Polls for the tournament will be hosted on the Rail Delivery Group's Twitter account - @RailDeliveryGrp - and it is possible to follow the action by the hashtagWorldCupOfStations site.

The 12 group winners will progress to the semi-finals on Thursday, and Friday's final will see which of the four stations will be victorious at the final whistle.

Glasgow Queen Street station, with a £64 million refurbishment, was crowned champion last year and awarded the World Cup of Stations plaque.

The competition is being staged as stations up and down the country are welcoming more and more passengers back on board.

The summer saw a huge uplift of leisure journeys to almost pre-pandemic levels with staycationers, day-trippers and shoppers making the most of stress-free travel.

Commuter rail journeys are also steadily increasing as workers go back to offices.

Research, commissioned by the Rail Delivery Group, has shown the important role of a thriving railway and estimates that the total spend of rail passengers on things like shops, restaurants and hotels, generates nearly £6.5 billion-a-year for local businesses in the West Midlands.

Jacqueline Starr, chief executive at the Rail Delivery Group, said: "Train stations up and down the country are helping local areas to recover from the pandemic by enabling people to get back to doing the things they love whether it is getting to a gallery, seeing the sights or going to a restaurant."

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