Published by Railfuture

Railwatch is the quarterly magazine of Railfuture, which is free to members.

Non-members can subscribe to Railwatch, receiving it by post.


Railwatch 086 - November 2000

The future of stations

This is the scene at Cooden Beach station near Bexhill, Sussex, where Connex has transformed the station into a convenience store, selling newspapers, snacks and groceries.

The idea is to make the station a useful centre for the local population and bring in extra business while retaining the facility for issuing tickets and increasing Connex staff levels.

Connex has an agreement with Hachette Distribution Services and Groupe Elior to set up a joint venture company to develop joint retail and rail ticket outlets within the 400 railway stations operated by Connex in the south east. Hachette and Elior operate outlets in airports, railway stations, motorways and museums across Europe and North America, including the Louvre and Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The deal is aimed at cross-subsidising re-vamps at little-used stations with the revenue from popular ones. Importantly, the contract covers stations as a whole, spreading the risk and rewards across the whole network. This means that prime locations will not be cherry picked at the expense of locations with much lower traffic and revenue potential.

The aim is to make the stations the heart of the local community and other facilities may be added, including cash machines, cafes and dry cleaning. All train operators should copy this venture.

Stations are ideal places to operate something like Tesco's cash-back scheme which allows you to withdraw money from your bank account while paying your grocery bill.

Stations would also make ideal internet cafes where customers could check and consider various travel options online instead of wasting the time of ticket clerks and delaying other passengers with long, involved queries. They could find the answers themselves if the national fares manual and the routeing guide was available online. These two manuals should also be in every public library.

At present, rail companies and staff are happy to see many passengers kept in the dark so they do not ask for the cheapest tickets. The effect of course is to prevent many other people from even considering going by rail.

Note: contact details (postal and email addresses, along with telephone numbers) in old editions of Railwatch out of date. Click CONTACT US for latest contact details.

[Issue 86 Index]

[Railwatch Home] [Prev Issue (85)] [Railwatch Issues] [RIS Progress Reports] [SRUBLUK Progress Reports] [Next Issue (87)] [Railfuture Home]

Rail users are encouraged to join Railfuture to help us campaign for a bigger and better railway - membership for individuals is just £20 per year

Railfuture is an independent, voluntary group representing rail users in Britain with 20,000 affiliated and individual members. It is not funded by train companies, political parties or trade unions, and all members have an equal say.

Railfuture campaigns for cheap and convenient rail services for everyone; better links for buses, bikes and pedestrians; policies to get more heavy lorries on to rail; new lines, stations and freight terminals. In short, a better rail service and a bigger rail system for both passengers and freight.

Railfuture is pro-rail but not anti-road or anti-air. However, we campaign for a switch from road and air to rail. We do not interfere in the running of the railway - we campaign for the quality and range of services provided, not how they are delivered. We are the only champion of all rail users.

Railfuture is the campaigning name of Railfuture Ltd.

A not-for-profit Company Limited by Guarantee.

Registered in England and Wales No. 05011634.

Registered Office: Edinburgh House, 1-5 Bellevue Road, Clevedon, North Somerset BS21 7NP (for legal correspondence only).

All other correspondence to 14 Ghent Field Circle, Thurston, Suffolk IP31 3UP

© Copyright Railfuture Ltd 2024.

Railfuture is happy for extracts to be used by journalists, researchers and students. We would, however, appreciate a mention of Railfuture in any article, website or programme. Except with Railfuture's express written permission, no one should distribute or commercially exploit the content.

Privacy Statement

Click Privacy to read Railfuture's GDPR statement on how we treat your data.


This site does not use its own cookies, although Google Analytics does. Hosted by TSO Host (cPanel) and maintained for Railfuture by Billing Specialists Ltd.