Published 11th July 2012
WOLVERTON - London Midland Celebrates as Wolverton’s new station opens and member of their staff is awarded a British Empire Medal
Wolveron's fourth station becomes London Midland’s newest station to medal award by The Queen.
The historic railway location of Wolverton, just north of Milton Keynes, had its fourth railway station opened on June 21. The new station had been lobbied for ever since the Victorian wooden station buildings were demolished in 1991 without warning by British Rail.
The previous station building had spanned the West Coast Main Line on a bridge was about to be Listed when demolished overnight - not due to any malicious planning but because the ironwork had rusted to a dangerous condition and there was no money at the time for renovation. A temporary booking office was provided, which in reality, was a temporary building.
The latest station building, the fourth in Wolverton’s 177 year history, cost £2.5m and is a landmark building for a commuter station reflecting the location’s history. Trains commenced running in 1835 and was the key station at the halfway point on the London to Birmingham Railway which started through services in September 1838, three years after train services had commenced.
It took two hours from Wolverton to either London or Birmingham in those days and now takes 40 minutes to Euston and 75 minutes to Birmingham New Street. To begin with, the steam locomotive was changed at Wolverton and passengers were allowed just 10 minutes for a ‘comfort break. This was required as trains carried neither toilets or refreshments, so the local economy boomed catering for these passengers while the adjacent Railway Works employed thousands and created the World’s first railway town.
Wolverton Works provided a plaque for display on the wall with the dates of all Wolverton’s stations inscribed presented by David Hilliard from the Works. The latest station was made possible by a partnership of London Midland, Network Rail, Wolverton Council and was opened by Mayor of Milton Keynes, Catriona Morris, unveiling a commemorative plaque. There are two booking windows in the station and one wall inside the new building houses a huge mural depicting the history of Wolverton’s railways.
One person who has worked there, but is now based at the next station south, Milton Keynes, is London Midland’s Delivery Manager, Satish ’Scottie’ Kakkad who was awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday’s Honours List. ‘Scotty’ arrived in the UK from Uganda with little money but joined the railways in Lancashire.
He is 57 and has worked in the Milton Keynes area for much of his 38 year railway career including working for British Rail, North London Lines, Silverlink and now London Midland. The latter company has received over 100 letters of commendation from passengers thanking him for his help and he was nominated for the award for ‘Services to the rail industry‘.
Scotty is on first name terms with many commuters and London Midland senior management present at the Wolverton station opening were full of praise for him.