Chiltern Railways has opened a new waiting room at Leamington Spa station that provides customers with a step into the past. The £290k investment, which included an upgrade to the power supply at the station, will provide a waiting room and additional cafe in keeping with the station’s architecture and history. The station improvements have been carefully and sympathetically carried out, drawing on the heritage aspects of the building.
The new waiting room (pictured above) on platform three was the original station refreshment room and forms part of the art deco station, constructed in 1939. It has been brought back into use after functioning as a general storage room for a number of years, an exact replica of the original refreshment sign spotted in a photo of the station taken in 1939, has been replaced. Chiltern Railways was supported on the project financially through the National Station Improvement Programme (NSIP) and also received funding contributions from The Railway Heritage Trust, Network Rail and with advice from the Friends of Leamington. The art deco feel continues through the cafe which features art deco style lighting to mirror the lights in the adjacent waiting room. Modern influences ensure safety of customers remains top priority; the flooring reflects the original chequered board style but utilising modern materials to provide a slip resistant floor.
Jennifer Payne, Chiltern Railways Customer Services Director said:
“Leamington Spa station is a fantastic example of art deco architecture and we felt it was important to reflect the heritage of the station in our improvements. The investment we’ve made not only brings the past to life, it also means customers can be reassured that modern passenger information is available so they won’t miss their train.”
Other improvements include: ‘efficient’ lighting triggered by movement sensors, thermostat operated heating and CCTV. New cabling has been carefully installed to ensure no damage to original architectural features.