Top attraction marks its tenth anniversary

Carnforth Station and Visitor Centre.
Carnforth Station and Visitor Centre.

One of North Lancashire’s top tourist attractions celebrates its tenth anniversary today, Thursday.

Since opening on October 17, 2003, the number of people visiting Carnforth train station’s heritage centre has soared to 50,000 a year.

Many of them are international tourists who come to enjoy the history and nostalgia of the buildings.

They were renovated over three years to restore them to their 1940s glory days, including the Refreshment Room which was used as the setting for David Lean’s 1945 film Brief Encounter.

Heritage centre manager John Adams said: “None of the success would have been possible without the magnificent support of the volunteers who give their time freely to ensure we are open seven days per week, 360 days of the year.

“As manager of the centre, it is a pleasure to work with such dedicated people and with a noticeable surge in popularity over the last two years we all look forward to the future.”

A Brief Encounter Special Train will run from Settle to Carlisle on Saturday to mark the milestone. The Carnforth Station and Railway Trust Co Ltd was formed in November 1996 to restore the derelict buildings and a £1.5 million project started in late 2000.

Open between 10am-4pm, the attraction relies heavily on public donations.

In addition to celebrating the history of the site, the station also host exhibitions, music events and children’s activities.

Its growing success has been recognised with a nomination in the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year category at next month’s Lancashire Tourism Awards.

Judges received more applications than ever before this year.

Mr Adams added: “To be shortlisted makes all the hard work worthwhile.”