Yate Train Station prepares for 25th anniversary celebration

First published in News Gazette Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell, Rangeworthy, Wickwar, Hawkesbury, Iron Acton, Coalpit Heath and Old Sodbury

YATE Train Station is to mark its silver jubilee with a fun-filled day for all the family.

The station is marking 25 years since it was reopened on Sunday, May 11.

Celebrations are being planned to include the entire community including local school children and train enthusiasts.

Town councillor Chris Willmore said: “I think we should organise some events to mark it because it was one of the first in the country to reopen due to a campaign by Yate and Dodington parish councils.

“I really think we should do something to mark it.”

The station is believed to be the first in the country to reopen after a number of wayside stations on the former Bristol to Gloucester line were shut in 1965, in a raft of closures known as the Beeching Axe. Its reopening in 1989 followed fervent campaigning by local councillors, who won the backing and financial support of the then local authority Avon County Council.

“Thankfully Cllr Mike Drew (Lib Dem, Yate north) was in the right place at the right time to get the money,” added Cllr Willmore. “Dodington Parish Council was also very helpful in getting the station reopened.”

A station at Yate was first opened in July 1844 when trains headed south along the original route via Fishponds to reach Bristol. A connection was later laid in to link the line with the Great Western Railway's Badminton Line from Wooton Bassett to Patchway, now the South Wales main line but the new link left the older line as an underused flying junction.

Nowadays, the station serves the main Bristol to Birmingham line between Bristol Parkway and Cam and Dursley and is operated by First Great Western. In 2007 it was ranked as the 1104th most-used station in the UK.

In the last decade the station has been criticised for the number of incidents of vandalism and lack of facilities and overcrowding on the morning trains to Bristol has been the source of long-running fury for passengers.

The station, seen as one of the main access points to Yate, has an active friends group which has worked alongside Yate and Dodington In Bloom to create a welcoming entrance to the town with planters and a mosaic made by pupils at Brimsham Green School.

The anniversary celebrations are expected to include Yate Heritage Centre, the friends group, local schools and enquiries are being made as to whether a steam train could stop at the station on the day.

Anyone who would like to get involved with the 25th anniversary event is asked to contact Yate Town Council on 01454 866506 or email info@yatetowncouncil.gov.uk

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