Customers ‘over the moon’ as new café officially opened at Downham Market Railway Station
A new café which opened at Downham Railway Station in February has been hailed as “great news” for the town.
South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss formally opened Platform One Café at the station on Wednesday, which has occupied the former Railway Arms premises.
Ms Truss said: “There was a huge outcry when it closed before – everyone was very concerned.
“People didn’t want to see it becoming another chain café. I’m not against the idea of chains in general but the station is unique and the fact that a local business has taken it over is really great news.
“They have worked hard to ensure it retains its character and it’s really exciting to see it open.”
Darren Sutton, general manager of Platform One Café, said the business, which has employed 11 people, has received positive feedback.
“It has been really busy and we are quite pleased with the daily takings.”
Mr Sutton said they have applied for an alcohol licence and are also considering extending their opening times in the summer.
Colin Sampson, chairman on the Fen Line Users ‘Association, said: “Obviously it’s very different to what we had before, but it needed to be something new and they have done a cracking good job with it, I’m very pleased with it.
“Considering the number of people we have using the station, it’s good to be able to offer them something.
“All good stations have a good station facility and if it’s a little bit quirky then so much the better.”
Graeme Pratt, station manager, said: “We are very pleased that we have got the café open again, having closed for a year.
“It is really nice and welcoming, and it’s a modern touch on a listed building.
“The customers are over the moon, especially as they are able to get a coffee at five in the morning.
“From a station perspective it’s nice to have somebody else here to assist customers.”
Following the news that there may be delays to longer trains being introduced in West Norfolk, Ms Truss said she has told rail bosses to “get on with it”.
It comes following the revelation that rail bosses are unsure when the new eight carriage services will begin, despite previously claiming it was likely to be later this year.
Ms Truss said: “I’m very concerned about that. There’s too many delays, and I have raised that with the chief executive of Network Rail and told them to get on with it.
“I’m pushing them across the board on making journey times as short as possible and also making the trains as long as possible.”