The rail industry has given passengers a glimpse of how their local stations may look in the future.

Over the last few years, major terminus stations have become destinations in their own right. People now travel to St Pancras, King’s Cross and Waterloo for the shops, restaurants and coffee bars as well as to catch a train.

This philosophy may well carry over to smaller stations as they too become the hubs of their communities.

As rail travel becomes central to people’s daily lives, the station and its surrounding area could be places people want to be, with online shopping collection points, children’s play areas and piazzas where people can sit and enjoy a coffee outdoors.

Images produced by BPR Architects for the Rail Delivery Group show how old station buildings might be revitalised while new buildings could have striking modern designs or be made to fit in with a historic local area.

Britain currently has 2,500 stations, with new ones being added, so there is plenty for the designers and developers to have a go at.

This new vision can tailored to local needs and integrated with other transport modes. The concept station – Station Place – builds upon the nine guiding principles of the RDG’s ‘Vision for Stations’ document that was published in 2015.

Commenting on the new images, BPR Architects director Paul Beatty-Pownall said: “Station Place will reinstate stations as the focal point at the heart of the community they serve, enabling even the smallest stations to act as a hub and a catalyst for investment.  The concept encourages design proposals to reflect their local context and capture the spirit of local aspirations.”

Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, added: “Britain’s stations have great potential, not only as transport hubs but as places for local economies to flourish. Our vision – aided by the Station Place concept – shows how stations can be more customer focussed, use technology more intelligently and encourage an entrepreneurial spirit in the communities that they serve.”

Report by Nigel Wordsworth

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