Carlisle Station.

Carlisle Station image at http://www.visitcumbria.com/carlset/carlstn.htm

The home furnishing company Homebase has revamped the historic Carlisle Citadel station after Virgin Groupfounder Sir Richard Branson identified the Gothic style station as in particular need of some TLC and has this week received a makeover that includes the waiting room being changed into a lounge, a platform being changed into a garden and installing a kitchen. 

The Homebase/Virgin tie up effectively allows the retailer some great PR and calls attention to Branson’s call for train operators to get more freedom to invest in stations. Branson would also like to smarten up Preston and Crewe.

Station manager at Carlisle for Virgin Trains Ann Turner said: “We’re very proud of our station, which looks amazing. The station is full of history and we love it. What has happened has really transformed it and shows what can be done.”

She added: “Response from the local community has been great. We’ve noticed passengers arriving a little bit earlier to allow extra time to enjoy the station and take it all in.”