VOLUNTEERS at Wemyss Bay Station are hoping it'll be full steam ahead as they bid to reach the final of a national railway competition.

The station has been nominated in the 'World Cup of Stations' competition run by the Rail Delivery Group - a branch of National Rail.

Last year the iconic station, built in 1903, was pipped at the post by Huddersfield Station.

Now voluntary group the 'Friends of Wemyss Bay Station' are hoping to go one better this time round and scoop the trophy.

Sheena Inglis and Catherine Galbraith of the Friends hope local people will vote for them online.

Sheena, who is the station's bookshop manager, said: "The station truly does have that 'wow' factor.

"It is more than just a transport hub - it's a place for the community.

"We started the Friends of Wemyss Bay Station group 11 years ago and we now have around 20 volunteers all offering their services to keep the station ticking over.

"One of our volunteers is in her 90's and has been involved from the very beginning. "Many people who aren't even travelling on the train or ferry will come down and visit the bookshop, cafe or bar and then might pop across the street to McCaskie's Butchers.

"It's a real social hub."

The station connects the ScotRail line to Glasgow Central and also houses the CalMac ferry terminal to Rothesay.

As well as the bookshop operated by volunteers, the cafe, run by Lynn Conway, and The Station bar, owned by Harry and Kathy Monaghan, serve customers daily.

All are known for contributing to good causes in the area.

The station was the setting of a Vodafone Christmas TV advert with actor Martin Freeman in 2017 and is well known for iconic floral displays which are the work of chief gardener Catherine Galbraith.

Catherine said: "People come from all over to visit the station, particularly transport enthusiasts who want to see the architecture but also want to visit the bookshop to pick up well priced transport books.

"I'm here up to three times a week to ensure our planters are well looked after.

"This year was different as we couldn't access the station due to Covid-19, however I'm now already purchasing bulbs for our spring floral displays."

You will be able to vote for the station from Monday by logging on to https://bigplanbigchanges.co.uk/big-changes/world-cup-of-stations-2020