Virgin Trains East Coast has helped transform the former ladies first-class waiting room at Durham station into an aptly-named alehouse.
The Waiting Room is located on Platform 2 at the station and opened its doors after undergoing extensive renovation work, including restoring many of the original features such as two Victorian fireplaces that had been boarded up and covered by several layers of paint.
Virgin Trains helped to bring the building, which dates back to 1872, back to its former glory by paying for the original stonework to be scrubbed down and the structure to be made watertight – they also provided electricity and drainage to the site.
The Waiting Room is owned by Graeme Robinson, a former university facilities manager and the grandson of a signalman, who decided to follow his passion for real ales and open a pub. Stocking a range of draught and bottled pieces from breweries including Durgam, Allendale and Hadrian Border, Graeme love of regional ales is evident. The restoration of the waiting room is also thanks to the generosity of the Railways Heritage Trust, who donated a five-figure grant to the pub.
“I’m very pleased with the reception so far to my first pub,” Graeme said. “Regular commuters and locals have embraced it and we look forward to the development of the outside seating area ready for the summer!”
Chris Cunningham, General Manager for Virgin Trains East Coast added: “We’re proud to be playing a part in celebrating the long history of Durham station here today at the opening of The Waiting Room. Virgin Trains is committed to promoting history and heritage, and we’re thrilled with the transformation of this space into a beautiful alehouse and a fantastic place for customers to relax.”
Find out more and book your next trip on the Virgin Trains East Coast website.